What the Hell Are Gribenes and Why Should They Be on Your Sandwich?

By Carey Jones |

© Katie Burton / The Gorbals

There's not much that can top the classic BLT—at least, that's what we always thought. But according to celeb chef (and former Top Chef winner) Ilan Hall, currently of Williamsburg restaurant The Gorbals, we are mistaken. Hall swaps out bacon for a total Jewish-grandma throwback ingredient: gribenes. For all the non-Yiddish speaking set, gribenes are crunchy chicken skin. "It just made total sense!" he told us. "It's a BLT with chicken skin—basically it's what Jewish grandmothers use instead of bacon."

According to Hall, it adds "crunch, saltiness and definitely umami." It's also among the most popular on The Gorbals' menu. "It's delicious and unexpected—fried chicken skin with perfect level of crispiness is hard to beat"

The bread: 2 slices of caraway do the trick.

The filing: Those gribenes, of course, keep things crunchy and salty. They also keep the sandwich kosher. (Bacon… yeah, not so much.) Then you've got tomato, lettuce, and avocado to round it all out, plus a more caraway seeds and a homemade mayo.

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