Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community will get its own gourmet store in August, a “kosher version of Whole Foods.” According to the Post, the opening of Pomegranate in Midwood is controversial: Rivals are skeptical (“[Pomegranate] is just another fish in the ocean here”), and residents fear the checkout line (“Everyone is really struggling, and the idea that the supermarket will open with really high prices is not what people are looking for”). But Pomegranate’s success is inevitable. Not even the close-knit culture of the Orthodox community can resist the winds of the Zeitgeist, and bigger, better, more beautiful gourmet stores are as inevitable a part of modern prosperity as exclusive preschools. The Orthodox community in Midwood is every bit as status-conscious as any close-knit neighborhood, if not more so. When Mrs. Horovitz brings back dry-aged rib eyes and stone fruit from Pomegranate, her neighbors are not going to feel fine about sticking to the Glatt Zone. (Not that there’s anything wrong with the Glatt Zone, a superb grocery on Avenue J known for its many fine kugels.)
The observant need gourmet groceries, too.