Brooklyn, NY…Estelle, who lives in Southern Jersey, customarily visits her aging mother in Flatbush on Sundays. But since the Pomegranate opened last August, she makes the weekly detour to the nation’s leading upscale kosher supermarket. In her shopping cart was a variety of better cuts of kosher beef along with an assortment of dairy products that she says “she cannot find anywhere else.” Abraham Banda, the owner of Pomegranate confirms that Sunday is a day when shoppers from all over the Metropolitan area shop at the store. Unlike many stores that sport empty shelves after the pre-Shabbat rush, Banda is proud of how quickly his kitchens produce the fresh gourmet items after Shabbos. A woman who eyes a luscious looking portion of salmon but wonders if it can be warmed with flavors and spices is told by Mr. Banda that the “chef” will do it and he does to her delight. The store has a compliment of chefs, many who are trained in European culinary schools and many who are second or third generation chefs. For example, Mike Shulte, a native Austrian, is a well known gourmet chef who was trained in leading French culinary schools and worked in a host of Israeli first-rate hotels and restaurants. David Tirnauer is a third-generation kosher food specialist who prepares all of the traditional foods for the Shabbos. Jacob Glauber, Pomegranate’s chef for cheese and appetizer products, learned a great deal from his father who has been doing it for 40 years, twice the number of years he has been preparing and aging cheese and creating new exotic appetizing products. He even prepares his own hummus but is proud of the all natural ingredients and lack of preservatives. A shopper from Stamford tastes some of the exotic flavored cheeses Glauber prepares which are on display at the entrance to the store, just feet away from a free standing display of items for the upcoming Purim holiday. Most of the shoppers marvel at just how clean the store is and drool at the luscious looking roasts, fish, and salads on display. At least for Sunday, the Pomegranate is far from a local store. It is very much regional.
February 16, 2009