Russ and Daughters Press

The Washington Post

December 2, 2003

By Judith Weintraub


One of the destinations of smoked salmon seekers is Russ & Daughter's on Manhattan's Lower East Side (whose products are also available through Mark Federman, the proprietor, is a former trial lawyer who's been selling smoked salmon (and caviar, cheeses and dried fruit) since 1978, when he left law to run the family business- a speciality food shop his grandfather, Joel Russ, started in 1914. If anybody understands how long it takes to know your salmon, it's Federmn. "When I joined the family business and asked my father if he would teach me how to tell a good fish from a bad fish, I was under the impression that he would tell me evrything, and then I would know," he says. Instead it took him much longer. "After 10 years, you may know a good fish from a bad fish," he says. "It takes that long to have a palate and get a sense of feel and touch for the salmon." These days Russ & Daughters buys close to 1,000 pounds of smoked salmon every week- from different smokehouses and different countries. But his week always includes a visit to Attias in Brooklyn to select just the right sides of smoked salmon for his customers.

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