Bulkie roll

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Bulkie roll
Bulkie roll spicy salmon burger.jpg
Spicy salmon burger on a bulkie
Alternative names Bulkie
Type Bread roll
Place of origin United States United States
Region or state New England New England
Cookbook: Bulkie roll  Media: Bulkie roll

A bulkie roll or bulkie is a New England regional variety of sandwich roll. Sandwiches made with bulkie rolls are very common in area delicatessens, restaurants, and institutional food services. Bulkie rolls are larger and firmer than hamburger buns. The crust is usually slightly crisp or crunchy, but bulkies are not hard rolls. The bread within the roll is similar to ordinary white bread, with a texture that is neither very chewy nor very fluffy, without any yellow color or egg taste, and not noticeably sweet. They are either plain or topped with poppy seeds.

They are similar to and sometimes equated with kaiser rolls,[1] but kaiser rolls are noticeably sweeter and often topped with poppy seeds.

Origin and usage[edit]

Examples of menu usage include:

  • "Two of our handcrafted seafood cakes on a bulkie with lettuce and tomato"
  • "Roast Beef Bulkie"
  • "'Piled High' Served on your choice of white, rye, or pumpernickel bread—bulkie or onion roll"

Boston writer Alan Lupo recalls that in the 1940s, "in the mornings, my mother ate a bulkie roll and drank a cup of coffee while reading the Boston Post."

Lee Shai Weissbach writes of a Manchester, New Hampshire, Jewish grocery store, pre-World-War-II, whose owner was "affectionately remembered for 'the barrel of pickles and the hefty corned-beef sandwiches on bulkie rolls that he dispensed.'"[2]

"Bulkie" is also simply the Polish word for rolls, so perhaps the English word "bulky" is derived from the Polish. There is intrinsic plausibility to this idea, given the huge pre-World War II Jewish population and Poland's history of a Jewish "state within a state" in early Poland, as Adam Zamoyski calls it in his discussion of a universal Polish tolerance in his 2015 Poland: a History, as well as the Polish Jewish diaspora to the United States in the early twentieth century and before.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Emily Chasan, 2004, Tufts University: Off the Record; College Prowler; ISBN 1-59658-135-2: "Local slang: Bulkie Roll, a Kaiser roll for a sandwich"
  2. ^ one bulkie recipe calls for 4 cups of flour and yields 12 rolls, or 3 oz. flour per roll; for comparison, one Kaiser roll recipe calls for 2 cups of flour and yields 8 rolls, or 2 oz. flour per roll.
  3. ^ Polish-language site showing a variety of bułki, computerized Polish-English translator which renders bułka as bread roll
  4. ^ Lee Shai Weissbach, 2005, "Jewish Life in Small-Town America : A History", Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-10671-8, p. 265

External links[edit]