Narazaki Rollmops

Andre Brik
Some blocks away from the house where I grew up, there was a very simple grocery store called Narazaki. Managed by very nice Japanese immigrants, Narazaki sold everything. Narazaki was also a bar where, at the end of the day, blue-collar workers swallowed doses of 'pinga', the Brazilian sugarcane eau de vie. Many of them were immigrants from Germany, Ukraine, Poland, and Russia. So, to have their drinks as they used to in Eastern Europe, there were Rollmops. For a 5 year kid, a big glass jar on the counter full of fish skins wrapping an onion and closed with a toothpick was something that caught the eye. It was like watching a bizarre aquarium or looking at a snake on formaldehyde in science class. Narazaki still exists in the same place. But the current owners no longer speak with the lovely foreign accent. The wooden floor, ceiling, and counters were replaced by synthetic materials. They may even still have a glass jar of rollmops. But it's not the same thing.
Try it!

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