70 Hungarian postcards to the 70-year-old Israel
Tel-Aviv has the best poppy seed bejgli
By Gabi Berger - 2018-04-13
Translated from the Hungarian original: Bea Sara Goll
A good few years ago on King George Street I suddenly noticed a sign. It was written in Hebrew that "כאן ניתן להשיג את עוגת הפרג המפורסמת של וייס" "You can buy Weiss’ famous poppy-seed bejgli here." There was a tray of fresh poppy rolls in the window to strengthen the claim.
Both the name Weiss and the poppy-seed bejgli suggested that there was some Hungarian relevance here, so I entered the store with a sudden great excitement and waited for being able to taste my favorite sweets and to chat with the old sales clerk at the counter.
The shop was crowded, so he only briefly confirmed that they were indeed of Hungarian origin, but he was not exactly eager to share more information, and quite a lot of people were waiting behind me in the line, so I quickly turned my attention to tasting the bejgli. After all, it's good if there is a story, but the point is, the main thing is the bejgli!
Since then, it has been several years, and as I went there often I saw the change in the store: that the elderly sales clerks were no longer working there. I recently went in to interview the owner for the article and take a few photos of the place. The current owner, Gali, told me about the store:
This was Tel-Aviv's first bakery; it opened in the '50s as a bread shop. At that time - תקופת הצנע - there were no cafes and confectioneries, so they started as a bakery. As better times arrived in Israel and they’ve got sugar, and poppy seeds, they started the confectionery.
The confectionery was founded by David Weiss and it was a family business for a long time. David’s son took over until his old age, when the current owners, Gali and Boaz, with whom they had worked together, continued operating the confectionery / bakery.
Gali and Boaz are very careful about the traditions of the place, the store has kept its bakery / confectionery and family business character; the pogácsa [patty] and the bejgli are just as fine as before. They are not trying to scrimp on the ingredients or to change anything; their products are good and reliable.
They used to carry Dobos Cake earlier, too, but there was not much demand. There are a number of cookies and cakes, the recipes and the methods came from the Weiss family, but the main and long-lasting Hungarian favorites are the poppy-seed bejgli and the pogácsa.
In the poppy-seed bejgli, the stuffing is the main thing, a half-kilogram roll has 300g of poppy filling and 200g of dough. Monthly more than 100kg of poppy seeds are used.
The bejgli is not only sold locally, but also delivered to coffee shops in and around Tel-Aviv.
Photos: Gabi Berger
If you have enjoyed reading this story, please support our project Izrael70.