Bagels are everywhere in the U.S. now, but finding a bialy is still a challenge in many places — including Terre Haute.
Some of you may be asking, what is a bialy? It turns out bialys did in fact get their name from the Polish city of Bialystock, where they originated.
Bialys are sometimes described as a combination between a bagel and an English muffin. They notably feature a partial hole (often filled with onions) rather than a hole that goes all the way through like a bagel.
But you can still see your lox peeking through the edges. Just writing about bialys is making me hungry!
Scott recommends Bagel Fair bialys
I was introduced to Bagel Fair (86th Street in Nora Plaza near Whole Foods and Target) in Indianapolis on Legally Speaking columnist Scott Skillman‘s recommendation, and indeed they have terrific bagels.
But I was excited to find out that Bagel Fair also sells bialys. There’s a catch, however: bialys are only available Sunday mornings. I have been meaning to order ahead and pick up and I will, one of these days.
Luckily, though, my cousin Jane Moritz offers another option with her mail order business, Challah Connection, which just began offering Real-Deal Bialys. We ordered some and enjoyed them delivered right to our door in Terre Haute.
When in Manhattan, visit Track 103
You might think bialys would be readily available in New York City, but the last time I was in Manhattan, I had a difficult time finding them. Turns out I just didn’t know where to look. The other day, when my sister Nancy arrived in Terre Haute after having visited New York, she surprised me with the gift of bialys!
Now, I have a New York source. I remember several years ago, though, when my Aunt Rebecca brought us bialys from New York in her carry on. Aunt Rebecca told me she was never doing that again because her clothes smelled like onions for her whole visit!
But we enjoyed the bialys. It was the first time my kids had ever tried them.
New York meets Skokie
Scott tells me if I’m in the Chicago area, he has a good lead on bagels and bialys at the New York Bagel and Bialy Corporation on Dempster Street in Skokie.
Next time I’m at conference in Evanston, I know where to take a side trip.
I love the way food can bring back memories. While bagels and lox have remained common in my regular diet, the uncommon bialy has greater evocative power to recall the delicatessen joys of childhood.