Beigel Bake’s Salt Beef is the Katz’s Pastrami of London — Dining on a Dime


– I’m walking down Brick Lane in the Bethnal Green neighborhood of London. I’ve been told that while
I’m here I have to try beigels or bagels, the
traditional Jewish bread product that originated in Poland
and Eastern Europe. We’re heading to Beigel Bake, which is one of two prominent
beigel places on this road, Beigel Bake and Beigel Shop. This is a newer one it has the white sign as opposed to yellow sign,
there’s kind of a rivalry. But wanna go check it out
some of their famous beigels and some of their famous salt beef. I can’t wait to try it. (upbeat rock music) I would like to try one
of your salt beef bagels. – Would you like mustard or pickles? – Yes please. And also a chopped herring. First of all, how long have
you been in the neighborhood? – I’ve been in the
neighborhood about 30 years, more or less. – Yeah, okay. And what is the neighborhood called? – [Ros] This is called Bethnel Green. – Which one has been here longer, the Beigel Bake or the Beigel Shop? – I’m not absolutely sure,
but I think they’re both about co-terminus, I think it’s
more or less the same time. They know each other well, I don’t know about the interrelationship. – Is it like a rival? A little bit? – So a lot of people
now live in this area, where before it was the kind of area nobody wanted to live in. In the last 10-15 years it’s now an area where people do want to live. So you got rich and poor,
very big demarkation. (upbeat rock-pop music) – [Host] Do you say “bagel” or “beigel”? – I say beigel, cause it’s German. – Cause that’s how it’s spelt, no? Bagel or beigel? Lavinia do you say “bagel” or “beigel”? – We say “beigel”. – You say “beigel”. – Cause apparently “bagel” is american. (chuckles) Yeah. – Salt beef, mustard,
pickle, chopped herring, beigel, not bagel. Bagel is not as I’m
sure you’re all thinking presented in the shape of a stirrup, to the former king of
Poland, John III Sobieski following the victory
over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. I know that’s what you’re thinking, stop thinking that, because
it’s probably not true. The first mention of the
bagel is in, like a 1600… … yiddish book or treatise that says bagels were given to women
following childbirth. I believe that’s the first mention, and it is a bagel, or beugel “B-E-U-G-E-L” in german, so german or yiddish. And what they do here at the Beigel Bake, is they fill their beigels
or bagels with salt beef. What is salt beef, you ask? Corned beef as you may or may not know has nothing to do with corn. Which I love. Corned is just, refers to the granules of salt. So salt beef is beef
that’s, it’s like a brisket, and then you cure it, you brine it. Very tender obviously, quite salty. And they fill these beigels with pickles, mustard, and salt beef. And I gotta say, that’s
a pretty good combo. That’s a good ass sandwich,
for four pounds whatever, four pounds 60, 70? What’s really nice is you
get that chewy outside contrasting the salty beef,
the tang of the pickle, and that sort of pleasant, sinus-clearing, sort of wasabi-esc quality of the mustard. This is a really excellent
sort of hearty snack. Let’s contrast it, let’s take
a bite of the chopped herring. Doesn’t look good, but let’s try it. It’s actually kind of good. Strongly fishy, but
also has a really sweet sort of acidic taste to it. Tastes like it’s been pickled
in kind of a sweet brine. So obviously you have to
like that extreme fishiness of the pickled herring. Sometimes you get that
pretzle-y, lye taste for when the bagels are
boiled in a lye bath. But these are just boiled then baked. Lovely, not too tough, very
chewy very stretchy quality. Do these bagels compare with
the best New York City bagels? Maybe not, but that’s also, I
think in this place at least it’s not quite the point. Beigels in this neighborhood
have been a staple in the diet for over a hundred years. I really hope you enjoyed this episode of Dining on a Dime from Beigel
Bake on Brick Lane in London. If you’d like to watch
more, please click here. (music fades out)

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