Is there a decent bialy to be had in this town?

sharkfin is after the Polish-Jewish yeasty rolls, which come with onions and sometimes poppy seeds or garlic pressed into an indented bellybutton near the center. Sound like a bagel, minus the hole in the middle? Almost, but unlike a bagel, a bialy should be baked instead of boiled, and it has a thinner, crisper crust.

Some of us do know the difference. “Berkeley Bagel’s bialys are NOT bialys,” says rccola, explaining that they are mere bagels with onions on top. We are not fooled, Berkeley Bagel, we are not fooled. (Although chemchef thinks they’re actually pretty decent.)

hyperbowler says The Cheese Board sells a California-fied version of a bialy made with sourdough starter, olive oil, and sea salt. Still, it’s a legit bialy, hyperbowler says. And they often sell out before lunchtime, so get in line early or risk disaster.

Should those options fail, the devoted might turn to Mimi Sheraton’s The Bialy Eaters for a history lesson, or to Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recipe, described here.

The Cheese Board Collective [East Bay]
1504 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

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