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Make way for fresh gefilte fish • Brooklyn Paper

Make way for fresh gefilte fish

Gone fishing: The Gefilteria owners Jacqueline Lilinshtein, Liz Alpern, and Jeffery Yoskowitz say they have a tasty modern twist on the traditional Jewish dish.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

This ain’t your grandma’s gefilte fish.

Three foodies are peddling a gourmet and gluten-free recipe for gefilte that they say blows the traditional Passover fish dish most Jews love to hate right out of the water.

Clinton Hill resident Liz Alpern claims there’s no comparison between gelatinous, store-bought chunks of gefilte fish — which are usually served cold, straight from the jar — and the high-end gefilte that her new business, The Gefilteria, whips up from scratch using locally-sourced salmon and other top-notch ingredients.

“Traditional gefilte fish look like gray, unattractive blobs and don’t taste like fish — let’s be honest,” said Alpern, a Clinton Hill resident who runs the Brooklyn-based company with partners Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Jacqueline Lilinshtein. “Our gefilte fish tastes fresh and light and has plenty of flavor.”

To achieve the impossible, Alpern’s team substitutes salmon for carp in a time-worn recipe that otherwise contains white fish, pike and a mix of onions, egg, olive oil, salt and pepper. The kosher for Passover concoctions don’t use matzoh meal, which contains gluten, and are baked in long loaves, rather than smaller pieces.

Alpern said the idea started as an inside joke with Yoskowitz last summer, but blossomed into a real business venture when they realized there might be a high demand among borough foodies for fancy takes on Jewish home cooking.

The pals hired Lilinshtein, who spent her childhood shuttling back and forth between relatives in New Jersey and Brighton Beach, the neighborhood where gefilte fish goes to die, and started cooking for family and friends.

They launched The Gefilteria weeks ago, just in time for the start of the Passover season.

The company’s 24-ounce gefilte loaf sells for $20. A 12-ounce loaf is just $12. The Gefilteria also slings homemade borscht, sauerkraut, black and white cookies and other specialty foods that are packaged in a $27, ready-made Passover gift basket.

Alpern said once the business takes off, Passover meals from Brooklyn Heights to Sheepshead Bay will never be the same.

“We’re giving people something they can be proud to serve,” Alpern said.

For more information, visit gefilteria.com.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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