bodega by Claude J. Easy August 3, 2017
Nothing better than copping that piece of dried up bread slathered with butter that’s been sitting on your local deli’s counter for three days absorbing CFCs and bacon grease. Thank God it’s always wrapped in foil, wax paper, or plastic.
Yeah, it might be a little sus but a kaiser roll with butter is so NY. You’ve either had it for breakfast when you didn’t have enough time to make breakfast or when you have the crazy whack hangover.
From NYC’s starving artists to the rich dicks on Wall St., everyone has encountered the extremely affordable ($1) morning sandwich.
It’s the one sandwich you know can’t be fucked up and you know how hard a good, quickly made breakfast sandwich is to come by during NY’s morning rush.
After years in the sandwich underground, the “Butter Roll,” has made it to the NYT in an ode written by Sadie Stein to its simple and humble existence.
Stein went in with her buttered roll research. The piece includes chats with a guy who has been running a cart for 27 years, a couple of chefs, a bunch of other food writers, and a Pakistani street vendor. Everyone reminisces about their first encounters with a butter roll.
Stein also spoke with 5 food historians to find out the origins of NY’s Butter Roll:
“The origins of the buttered roll are cloaked in mystery, or perhaps mere lack of curiosity. I approached five historians of New York food, all of whom admitted they had never considered the roll’s place in the city’s foodscape. It belongs instead to a certain kind of anecdotal lore. That said, there are certain facts. The first such rolls would have arrived in New York in the 1870s, along with Louis Fleischmann’s Vienna Model Bakery, which brought commercial yeasted bread to the city. The buttered roll apparently became popular with German Jews (and later, Eastern European Jews) as a filling, inexpensive dairy meal, in accordance with kosher law.”
Who knew? Stein went on about the history of the roll,
“When the 20th century brought us the commuter breakfast, the buttered roll was ready to take its place on office coffee carts and at takeout windows… Order a buttered roll and you’ll invariably be handed a Kaiser. But ask old-time New Yorkers, and they will swear up and down that today’s model is a pale version of the remembered ‘Vienna’ or ‘hard rolls,’ a smaller, cornmeal-bottomed pastry with an open crumb and a shatteringly crisp crust.”
Besides being a smashing piece in the NYT, Sadie’s ode to the Butter Roll is causing quite the stir on Twitter. For some critics, the respect to the sandwich was due and for others it was seen as satire, causing confusion, agitation, and some hate.
Out of towners claimed they also put butter on rolls, but IT AIN’T THE SAME.
So homesick now somebody get me a buttered roll small coffee milk one sugar https://t.co/foOlUoiliA
— Lauren Elkin (@LaurenElkin) August 2, 2017
I thought this was satire until I read the article. In parts of Philadelphia, we call it wheat disc with cow cream.
— Bonnie is celebrating Shapiro & Fetterman wins! (@BonniBK) August 2, 2017
When those of us in the flyover states are confronted with this strange phenomenon of "buttered roll." pic.twitter.com/3WUiRCQ2FN
— Dᴀɴ Gᴏʟᴅᴇɴ (@_DanGolden) August 2, 2017
I have never had a roll without butter & I'm from the MW. NY thinks buttered rolls are a local phenomenon? They'll take credit for anything https://t.co/Zf6dBZZIIy
— shawn (@sruem) August 3, 2017
Before New York invented the buttered roll, people mostly ate butter by spreading it on rocks and sticks
— Chris Doyon (@nilbog3000) August 2, 2017