How the humble Jewish herring became haute American cuisine
Jews from Eastern Europe brought the recipe to America, where it became a cheap protein; but the status of herring in the culinary world changed when the little fish made aliyah to Israel.
In 1907, 21-year-old Joel Russ arrived in New York’s Lower East Side. “If you asked him, he would say he came from the Austro-Hungarian Empire,” his grandson Mark Russ Federman told me. “But in fact he was a poor Jew from a poor shtetl in Galicia.”