No, your eyes don't deceive you. According to Jeff Benkel, one of the owners of The Arizona Bread Company in Scottsdale, the bakery is making and selling Karsh's rye bread.
"It's the real deal," Benkle says. "I'm really happy with it."
The Arizona Bread Company, on the northeast corner of 70th and Shea in Scottsdale, has been offering quite a selection of breads -- including a rye of its own -- for years. But Benkle says the bakery has switched to a new recipe, the one used at the now-closed Karsh's Bakery, and it will be selling the bread at its retail location within the next few days.
Benkel says Karsh's former head baker, Seraphin Niveves, who was with the bakery for more than 30 years, is now working at the Arizona Bread Company. The bakery has spent the past week working on re-creating Karsh's recipe and debuted its version of the product this week. Of course, the Arizona Bread Company can't use the Karsh's name on its product because Karsh's Bakery owns the rights to the name.
"I've loved their rye bread since I arrived in Phoenix in 1986 and couldn't stand the idea of it disappearing," Benkle writes in an e-mail.
Karsh's Bakery, which was widely regarded as the best Jewish bakery in town, closed its doors last month after being in business for more than four decades. It was famous for its rye bread, challah, rugalash, and black and white cookies, among other things.
Benkle says the Arizona Bread Company also is exploring the idea of re-creating Karsh's challah bread but is unsure about doing so since it has its own challah recipes. The bakery also makes Italian, wheat, sourdough, and French breads.
You can find the Arizona Bread Company at its retail location in Scottsdale as well as at the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market, Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market, Roadrunner Park Farmers Market, and Peoria Farmers Market at Park West.
The Arizona Bread Company -- not to be confused with AZ Bread Co. Cafe in Tempe, which is a licensee of the Arizona Bread Company -- is Jewish-owned but not kosher. For more information, visit the Arizona Bread Company website.