Save the Deli

Harry G. Levine’s Pastrami Land

My friend Scott in San Francisco was kind enough to email me this article yesterday, which appeared in the summer issue of Contexts, the quarterly magazine of the American Sociological Association. In it, author Harry G. Levine delves briefly into the sociological and historical origins of deli in New York. There’s great insight here, and deli buffs will surely pick out a few tidbits.

As Levine writes:

Where did these restaurants and this culinary tradition
come from? Nobody thinks that poor Jews in Eastern Europe
ate like this, certainly not in restaurants serving huge sand-
wiches. In their current forms, some of these foods, including
the sacred pastrami, didnít exist in the old countries. This is a
story of America and New York City.

Click on the Link Below to Download the PDF file of the article.
Pastrami Land

4 Responses to “Harry G. Levine’s Pastrami Land”

  1. extramsg Says:

    Finally read through it. Great piece. I love how he describes a time when each deli had their own recipe and their own special spice mix. Sadly, I think those days are largely gone. I’d love to do a blind taste test between the various pastramis now and see how much difference there really is.

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