"Appetizing Store" (1914) or "Appy"

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Jun 27 08:27:18 UTC 2004

   FYI--that favorite section of the SUNDAY NEW YORK TIMES--has its first
lead question about the "appetizing store."  It's a little difficult for me to
check right now, but these stores did indeed dot the Lower East Side.  They
disappeared into the "appetizing sections" of supermarkets.
   FYI laments the disappearing "appetizing store," but evidently fails to
see that "gourmet" food stores are popping up all over.  There's no Zabar's?
There's no Eli's?  FYI has never been to the Whole Foods stores in Chelsea or in
the new Time Warner Center?
   My grandfather sold fruits; my late uncle worked in appetizing at Food
Fair.  He was one most appy fella.
   The dictionary coverage of "appetizing" and "appy" is, as usual, abysmal.

Appetizing Indeed

Published: June 27, 2004

Q.  The "appetizing store," selling Nova Scotia salmon, lox, sturgeon,
whitefish, sable, bagels, bialys and the like, is a vanishing New York phenomenon.
The term does not appear to exist outside New York, although obviously these
products do. Where does this term come from?

A. It does seem to have a New York flavor, according to the owner of Russ &
Daughters, one of the most famous stores of this kind that survives. This
smoked-fish emporium at 179 East Houston Street (between Orchard and Allen Streets)
was opened by Joel Russ in 1914 as "Russ's Cut Rate Appetizers."

Mark Russ Federman, present owner of the store and son of Joel Russ's
daughter Anne, said he recently discussed the question of the name with his mother
and one of his aunts. The answer, he said, lies in the Jewish dietary laws,
under which meat and dairy products may not be eaten or sold together. Fish and
certain dairy products are sold together, like lox and cream cheese.

So two types of food stores sprang up. Stores that sold pickled, cured and
smoked meats were known as delicatessens. Another name was needed for stores
that sold fish and dairy products. Someone (Russ's daughters do not know who)
decided on "appetizing" as the alternative.

"I think 'appetizing' is fairly indigenous and fairly local to New York," Mr.
Federman said. Once, he said, there were 30 appetizing stores on the Lower
East Side alone.

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... with the Lower East Side, New York, or yore, here are some more: A woman
in an "appy" (for the whitebread eaters, an appy is an "appetizing store", a
rec.humor.jewish - Dec 13, 1998 by Leon - View Thread (6 articles)

Insulated, _ppl. a._
 1964 W. MARKFIELD To Early Grave (1965) x. 176 An appetizing store,
where..you can take home their potato salad in an insulated bag.

Metropolitan Diary
Ron Alexander. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Aug 30,
1995. p. C2 (1 page):
   I am at the "appetizing" counter of the local suburban supermarket, having
ordered a half-pound of Nova. (...)
   ...I approached the formidable Waldbaum's appetizing counter for the very
first time.  (...)
   I must admit that from that day forward I've been slightly intimdated when
taking my ticket at the appy counter, never knowing whether I'll get an order
of embarrassment and humility with my Nova.

(PROQUEST HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS) ("appetizing/appetizer store")
New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Apr 7, 1914. p. 18 (1
page) :
Lenox Appetizing Store, 154 Lenox Ave.

Never Too Old to Spell
By BERTRAM REINITZ.. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: May
24, 1925. p. XX2 (1 page) :
   It was from old Peretz Chalken, retired from his appetizer store, that she
learned of a settlement house two blocks downtown from her home where age and
education got together for a two-hour session three times a week.

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