Saturday, July 21, 2007

Kurowycky Meats

VANISHED: June 2007

On dark winter mornings, the foggy window of Kurowycky Meats glowed warmly, garlands of sausage strung alongside Christmas lights. I bought ham there and chicken breasts that the butcher would trim with great skill, dumping the yellow trimmings into a bucket filled with fat. The place smelled deliciously of bacon and other smoked pork products.

June 3, 2007
An East Village Haven for Meat Lovers Closes Its Doors

There is no more of the best-selling baked ham, which takes two and a half weeks to cure and 24 hours to smoke in the shop’s own smoke pits, and sold for $5.59 a pound. And there is very little left of the second big seller, kielbasa, which takes four hours to smoke, and sold for $4.79 a pound.

There is little of anything left in Kurowycky Meat Products Inc., which was 52 years and three generations in the making. It closed its doors yesterday in the East Village, succumbing to changing times and tastes. Acclaimed among gourmets (James Beard was a fan), it was one of the last sausage makers in Manhattan owned by a family that operated its own smokehouse, about 20 or so steps from the cash register.

Jaroslaw Kurowycky Jr. (“Please, call me Jerry”), the principal owner, decided shortly after Easter that it was time to go. He started quietly drawing down his inventory of bacon, hams, kielbasa and 30 kinds of cold cuts so the cupboards would be as close to bare as possible.

Mr. Kurowycky (pronounced KOO-duh-vitsky), 48, and his staff of four spent the afternoon making two-handed handshakes with the male customers and hugging the women, some of whom, in turn, kissed their hands, a poignant gesture amid the denuded shelves.
Copyright New York Times

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