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In the Bialystok area, there are many people with surname of Bialostocki (and similar spellings). I would assume that the surname Bialy is a shortening of the Bialostocki surname.
As for Bialy's. They are definitely not bagels. They were a staple of my and your Bialystok ancestors lives. As Glenda says, the full name of these "rolls" was Bialystoker Kuchen. In the US these days Bialys are sold in many places, but the only ones that look and taste like the originals are at Kossar's Bialys in New York's Lower East Side and other bakeries in New York City. For more about this Bialystok delicacy, read Mimi Sheraton's book "The Bialy Eaters."
BTW, there is one restaurant in Bialystok that sells Bialy's, but they are small rolls with some poppy seeds on top -- tasty, but definitely no comparison to real Bialys.
son of a Bialystoker mother
On 2020-07-16 5:02 pm, Glenda Rubin wrote:
My family (from NY) were language sticklers. We called this baked good, kuchens or Bialystocker kuchens, where they, presumably, originated. My guess is that kuchen is Yiddish, derived from cake in German. My parents would get annoyed when people called them bialys and wouldn't hesitate to correct them, which of course had no effect. 😏
Richmond, CA, USA
I believed always it was the Americab name of a bagel variety from Bialystok. It was known in Poland as „cebulak" (onion-bagel").
San Francisco Bay Area
Researching: STRYZEWSKI, STRAUSS, JANOFSKY, JANOFF, OBODOV, WERNICK, GREENBERG, KROCHAK. Shtetls: Lipovets, Ilintsy, Pliskov, Starokonstantinov, Krasilov