Market Tours: Jubilat Provisions, South Brooklyn's Source for Housemade Kielbasa
When owner Kris Kuna opened Jubilat Provisions in 1992, the neighborhood of south Park Slope was heavily Polish. "When we opened down here, no stores existed to serve the Polish population. We wanted to create a place where they could come and buy all the foods they missed from home," he told me when I visited the small, densely stocked grocery. "The neighborhood has changed since then, but we've managed to hold onto our customers and create new ones." South Slope is now home to a large population of Latin American immigrants, as well as native-born Americans. But the draw of over 12 varieties of all-natural, housemade sausages, it turns out, is a universal one.
From grinding and seasoning the meat, to forming the sausages, and finally to smoking them in a wood-burning smoker in the back, the entire process of making its kielbasa takes place at Jubilat. "You don't see that too often anymore," Kris commented, adding that Jubilat doesn't use any preservatives in its sausages, also a rarity these days. The all-pork kielbasas differ slightly in seasoning and texture, and are available both fresh and smoked.
But Jubilat offers more than just sausages. They also sell tender smoked pork loin, perfect on rye with a little bit of mustard, as well as luscious double-smoked bacon. The deli case offers a full range of cold cuts and cheeses, and shelves are lined with all the Eastern European accoutrements you'd expect: pickled beets; jars of ready-to-eat, vinegary salads; and a vast selection of mustards and sauerkrauts, to help cut through the richness of the meats on offer.
The selection—and the fair prices—are what continue to draw Jubilat's customers after all these years. "The best part about running a neighborhood business," Kris told me, "is getting to know the customers. Our first customers' kids are all grown up now, and still they keep coming back. That's a good feeling."
605 5th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11232 (map)
About the author: Lauren Rothman is a former Serious Eats intern, a freelance catering chef, and an obsessive chronicler of all things culinary. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and follow her on Twitter @Lochina186.