By COLlive reporter
If you had gefilte fish at the seder this past week, consider yourself one of the chosen ones.
The New York Times reported that the polar vortex, which covered 90 percent of the Great Lakes with ice this winter, created a shortage of whitefish, the gefilte’s main ingredient.
Calling it “the 11th plague,” the Times reported that BenZ’s Gourmet in Crown Heights has been “fielding frantic phone calls” in the days leading up to Pesach.
“In all my years making gefilte fish, it has never been this bad,” said Benzion Raskin, the chassidic owner of BenZ’s. “I can’t remember a time with so little fish.”
BenZ’s posted a warning on its Facebook page months ago, imploring shoppers to get orders in early, and had to stop taking them two weeks ago.
Aviva Barodkin was among the loyal BenZ’s shoppers who got their orders in early.
“My mother-in-law schlepped all the way over from Borough Park to help me make it,” she told the Times. “She’s been in and out of the hospital all week, and every time she calls, all she can talk about is ‘What’s going to happen to my fish?’ ”
Doba Tiefenbrun, who grew up in a Lubavitcher community in Sheffield, England, and now lives in Crown Heights with her American husband, perhaps summed it up best: “Do I like the taste? Not really,” she said. “But do I like the tradition? Absolutely.”