Turkish Beigel (Bella Chagall, 1940s); 1897 NYT "Big Apple"

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Sun Jun 9 23:18:54 UTC 2002


   When I first started my search, I thoroughly looked through the New York Times Index, and I read every single "apple" subject article.  Over thirty years.  One story was titled "BIG APPLE CROP."  However, as the quality and the frequency of the hits are examined (as we gain full text to various newspapers), it's clear that the pre-1920 citations are isolated.  They're not even re-used by the same sources (NY Times, Edward S. Martin).  The African-American stablehand's claim, and John J. Fitz Gerald's popularization, appear to be strengthened.


by Bella Chagall
translated by Norbert Guterman
Schocken Books, New York

   Bella Chagall was married to the artist Marc Chagall.  She was born in Vitebsk, Russia, in 1895, and she died in Cranberry Lake, NY, in 1944.  She wrote in Yiddish.

Pg. 40:  For breakfast, we find on the wide window ledges--in addition to the flat cakes, rolls, and biscuits--a pile of stuffed tsybulnikes.  On Friday no dinner is cooked.  Instead of hot food, everyone gets a tsybulnik pressed into his hand.  Big, thickly filled with fried onions, just as an oven is filled with red coals, the tsybulnik can barely be held in one's hand.  The first bite pastes one's mouth shut, and the dough sticks in one's gullet until it is washed down with a glass of cold milk.

Pg. 52:  "Ah, you're an uncouth fellow, Israel!  Better help me to pull out my sleeve, the lining has suddenly got twisted up like a Turkish beigel."
(TURKISH bagel?--ed.)

Pg. 108:  There are slices of cake, tarts, sponge cake with honey, platters of pickled herring, chopped liver, eggs in goose fat, calf's-foot jelly, fried udders.

Pg. 129:  "She has eaten too many latkes!"

Pg. 169:  "You dumb cluck, you believe everything!"
("Dumb cluck" is used more than once in the book--ed.)

Pg. 175:  "Oi, woe is me, and my Haman-tashen are still in (Pg. 176--ed.) the oven!"

Pg. 242:  Then the knedlach come; they are easily swallowed with the yellow soup.

Pg. 256:  "And my chopped liver!" another waiter shouts.

(A Glossary is on pages 265-268, but it's nothing special--ed.)

Pg. 267:
Shikse (Y)  a gentile maid
Shkutsim (Y)  rascals

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