Save the Deli

Chanukah (and that other holiday) Deli Gift Guide

Happy Chanukah!

Yes deli fans, the era of oil is upon us. Line up those latkes and fire down those doughnuts, because the festival of lights is here, well ahead of Christmas, which means we won’t be assaulted by Bing Crosby songs for another week or so. Now that’s something to mazel tov about.

I’ve begun the editing of the deli book, which is now called “Save the Deli”, thanks to the popularity of this site. It’s due in mid-January, so needless to say, don’t be expecting too many updates until then. But today being the start of that least religious, and most materialistic of holy days, I figured I was due for a nice one.

The big question every year is: what am I going to get my beloved deli lover?

Well, here’s Save the Deli’s list of recommended gifts this year.

The official Save the Deli “Salami Mommy” Thong

Words can’t express the type of love a deli lover feels for his sweetheart. So why even speak, or write. Instead, let this hand crafted undergarment say the message you need to deliver, enshrining your love of deli and that special lady where it matters most…


Save the Deli Canvas Tote Bag

We’re all supposed to save the earth by abandoning those evil plastic bags. Why not do it in style, and while making a statement about your love of deli, with this attractive, sturdy and spacious canvas tote bag. It’ll easily fit three loaves of rye, 5 pounds of pastrami, and a half dozen knishes.


Chez Schwartz DVD

If you haven’t yet seen this in-depth documentary about Montreal’s most famous temple of smoked meat, you aren’t a true deli fan. The scenes of sandwiches being carved and assembled are so tempting, it should come with an X rating.

2. “Let’s Nosh” by Amy Wilson-Sanger

Finally, a children’s book about Jewish food, to get them interested young.
“Chopped liver spread
on dark rye bread
tastes best with extra schmaltz”

3. “The Book of Jewish Food” by Claudia Roden

This is by far the most interesting cook book I’ve ever read, let alone Jewish cook book. I’ve consulted this extensively in the research of my own book. Mrs. Roden crafts the tale of Jewish food over the past millenia, from the deli’s roots in the Ashkenazi world, to obscure recipes from communities in places like India. If you buy one book on Jewish cooking, this should be it.

“America’s Great Delis” by Sheryll Bellman

The original book on Jewish delis, with tons of pictures and recipes to satisfy your cravings. Looks as though it’s headed out of print, so order fast.

5. “The 2nd Ave Deli Cookbook” by Sharon Lebewohl

With the reopening of the namesake New York kosher deli only weeks away (more on that soon!), bring a bit of the East Village cum Murray Hill institution into your home with the recipes of the legendary Abe Lebewohl, his daughter Sharon, staff and friends. A great read, and a fantastic cookbook.

How to Feed Friends and Influence People: The Carnegie Deli” by Milton Parker and Allyn Freeman

A mere taste of the super-sized shtick from the famous delicatessen on 7th Avenue. Filled with history, jokes, and antics, plus only a 10th the weight of a Woody Allen sandwich.

“Jewish Cooking in America” by Joan Nathan

Joan Nathan is to Jewish American cooking, what Yakov Smirnov is to Soviet era comedy. She is the well, the source, the absolute bomb of bombs, and this thick cook book will surely satisfy any Jewish cook, in America or not.

Finally, there’s the gift every deli fan will be happy with…deli. Order some meats, breads, baked goods, and gear from your favorite delicatessen, so long as they deliver. Or, just order a gift certificate and let your loved one order whatever they want.

A small selection.

New York Delis
-salamis and pastramis

-cheesecakes and meats, oh my

-kosher kosher kosher…and such prices

tongue so good, you’ll kiss it

-glatt kosher, for the observant deli lover

LA Deli
-the finest pastrami anywhere…sent anywhere
what Larry King and the Hollywood elite eat. No, you can’t order Larry, but the Angus corned beef is deadly.
-the chocolate rugelach are worth the flight to LA
-kishke to kill for
-when Spielburg jets to Cabo on his jet, this is who feeds him


sweet home Chicago…the best in the Windy City
-killer chopped liver and brisket
-amazing Chicagoland baked goods and corned beef
-a taste of Montreal here in Toronto
-the deli where I grew up. #1 tongue
some legends need no introduction
a smoked meat legend in the making
The local Montreal favorite…amazing salami and cheese bageleh
-inventors of the double baked Detroit rye…a Motown classic
the deli that spawned an empire. ships nationally.
Ziggy Gruber is the New York king of deli…in Texas…yee ha, oy vey

the new kids in Portland, Ore

I know I’ve left a whole bunch out, so my apologies to them, but I have to get back to the book and have a pile of tongue in the fridge calling my name.

One Response to “Chanukah (and that other holiday) Deli Gift Guide”

  1. Panno Says:

    Salami Mommy thong?
    You creep…!

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