I was absolutely blown away to find out that there are people who live in New York, who are intelligent and well read, who have lived here a long time, but never heard of appetizing stores. In fact, when Ess-A-Bagel recently removed their sign that said "Appetizing Cheeses," one popular blog received comments gently letting Mr. Moss know that appetizing in this case was not meant to describe the cheese and in fact has nothing to do with the cheese. In addition to cheese, the store had appetizing foods such as smoked fish, herring as well as cheese. The more common usage is "appetizer," the dish that comes before dinner.
Two days after I had this shock, I was lunching with my mother at Uncle Vanya's, which I had chosen because they had sturgeon on the menu, and since I had been reading about appetizing stores I realized that I cannot recall ever eating sturgeon. Alas, it was on the menu but not in the kitchen. Foiled again. My husband advised the waiter to go a couple blocks to the Hudson, because sturgeon are prolific there. Nonetheless, he didn't run for his fishing pole.
My mother advised that if I want sturgeon I should go to the appetizing store. Voila! She used it in a sentence and without my telling her the story about people who don't know what appetizing stores are.
Today Mr. Moss posted a thorough review of appetizing stores and their history. It was well done, and my urge for sturgeon has gotten stronger.