A sweet story I heard during the holiday season came from customer Irv Isaacson, who called from Columbus, Ohio, to place an order over the phone.
Irv asked, at first, for a few pounds of Gaspe Nova, some Kippered Salmon, a pound of Chopped Liver, fillets of Pickled Herring with Cream Sauce and Onions, and four Babkas. We chatted a bit before he said, “And now, a very very important item. An item that once led me to realize that a particular woman was not, in fact, the love of my life.” I was intrigued. Which product had such power in Irv’s past?
“I’d like a one pound mix of Jelly Rings and Jelly Bars, ” he said. “Fill the box to the top.” Irv explained that while growing up in New York in the 1960s, he took all his first dates on walking tours of his favorite city spots. One Saturday, more than 25 years ago, he took a woman on his tour, and when they stopped at Russ & Daughters, he proclaimed, excitedly, that the mound of Jelly Rings and Jelly Bars on display was his favorite dessert. But she returned his enthusiasm with silence. His date told Irv that she very much disliked Chocolate-Covered Jelly Rings and Jelly bars.
Irv told me that he knew then — at the exact moment of her matter-of-fact dismissal of his favorite treat — that his date was over, that this couple was not a match that was meant to be.
“All this because of Jelly Rings and Jelly Bars?!” I asked, hoping for some happiness in this tale that Irv had obviously carried for so long. He laughed and informed me that the failed date was actually still a good friend, and that she’d be at his house for a holiday meal this year. He planned to serve Jelly Rings and Jelly Bars even though she’d obviously eat something else for dessert. She knows all about his side of this story: that only her dessert preference prevented a second date so long ago. This time he ordered the babka just for her.
Do you have a dessert “deal breaker?” Is there a Russ & Daughters treat that would cause you to dump your date if you learned that your preferences differed? Write to us to share your stories of love lost (and found!) over our food: info(@)russanddaughters.com
- Jen Snow