“This is a site for all deli lovers, whether those who are born Jewish or those who discovered their Semitic leanings the first time their tongue was blessed with the feeling of tangy mustard meeting a pile of glistening corned beef on soft rye. Here is a place where flunken fanatics can kibbitz with lox lunatics, where devoted fans of New York’s Katz’s Delicatessen can compare, contrast, and argue with followers of LA’s Langer’s, or Montreal’s Schwartz’s. It will be a community of like minded fressers, craving those flavors so sacred and salty, that the mere mention of the word knish tugs at the heartstrings.”
I wrote those words a year ago tomorrow, as I prepared my first ever post for this site, while I sat in the cold condominium of my friend Dara, on the first day of my road trip around America. I’d just come back from meeting with Sy Ginsberg, had seen corned beef being made, and had visited delis in Detroit shielded behind bulletproof glass. The next day, I heard that the 2nd Ave Deli was going to reopen. It was a heady, hopeful time.
Since that first post I’ve been around America, to Montreal, to London, to Krakow, and to New York, visiting hundreds of Jewish delicatessens and eating more than my share of their delicious offerings. The people that I have encountered: the deli owners, the purveyors, the customers, the foodies, the cooks and countermen, have been the greatest part of this whole experience.
But mostly I want to thank you. The hundreds of decidated Save the Deli followers, and the thousands who pass through this site never fail to give me hope that the endangered world of deli is indeed loved and cared for. Your emails, links, comments, and suggestions have not only been helpful…they have warmed my heart.
So here’s to the next year, and the one after that (when the Save the Deli book finally hits the shelves). Plenty more photos, stories, and delis to talk about in 2008.
So go and celebrate our one year anniversary at a deli. I’m driving to Vermont to ski tomorrow night, and with any luck I’ll be eating Schwartz’s or Snowdon by sundown.