Our family has known the Zabar’s for as long as I can remember. One crazy-hot day at Camp Modin, in the summer of 1984, way too hot to imagine playing tennis, Rachel and I laid on burning concrete, hiding-away while we shelled almost half of her ten pound bag of pistachio’s that her parent’s had sent.
Calhoun was around the corner which put our high school female population, front and center of the biggest food craze of 1986. Tofutti Magic ice cream that would not make you fat. We piled into Zabar’s daily to get our fix.
We are still members of the same synagogue as Saul and Carol. If my father had not passed away on Labor Day, I am sure his response to my telling him that I got my cookies into Zabar’s, would be some sarcastic remark about Saul not wearing a “dress shirt” for High Holidays or shunning them for their policy of opening the store on Yom Kippor.
But beneath his censure, was pure devotion, trustworthiness, and envy. Every Sunday at about 4:00, my dad would disappear for a walk down Broadway. He would return a few hours later, stopping along the way to browse at booksellers on the avenue, toting the orange logo bag. Inside without fail for at least 20 years, was his one piece of Parmessan for our Sunday pasta feast, one pound of famous Zabar’s roasted coffee, before anyone talked about coffee, and if he was in an especially good mood, maybe a piece of marble halvah.
Zabar’s was and is the most important supermarket of my “foodiness.”