Save the Deli

D Day

Well folks, here we are. It’s been over three years since I started writing this book, over two and a half since I launched Save the Deli, and now, 735 blog posts later, we’ve arrived at publication day.

I’m filled with a combination of excitement, trepidation, and fear. And, I must admit, a touch of pride. The reaction has been tremendous, and utterly surprising. People genuinely want to save the Jewish delicatessen, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got a big tour coming up that’ll take me into Thanksgiving, and my posts will slow down as I travel around talking at delis, synagogues, bookstores, and JCCs. So as the book hits stores, and as we prep for the big party tomorrow night at Ben’s, I just want to reprint below the mission statement from this site. Read it, buy the book, go out to your deli and eat. You’ll do your part. I’ll keep doing mine.

Save the Deli is a space dedicated to the preservation of the Jewish delicatessen, a hallowed temple of salted and cured meats. The past half century has seen the deli’s numbers decline greatly, in New York, across the USA, in Canada, and Europe. Those that remain are endangered and in need of our support. Though the challenge is arduous, and the deli’s foes are many, we will persevere.

Save the Deli stands for the family restaurant who refuses to modernize for the sake of greater profits, preferring to slave away tirelessly because that’s what the customers love, and because the food tastes better that way.

Save the Deli stands for classic Jewish food: sandwiches on rye with mustard…never on white or whole-grain or foccacia…never with vegetables…and god forbid never with mayonnaise.

Save the Deli stands for grease stained aprons, and worn cutting machines. For beat up tables, fading photos of B-list celebrities, and kids playing loudly while eating smoked turkey.

Save the Deli stands for deli education, deli pride, and a revival of deli culture across racial, cultural, and generational divides.

Save the Deli stands for saving that last bite of brisket…because there’s no finer treat at 3:00 AM than a bit of cold brisket.

Save the Deli stands for all things deli, because it’s about damn time someone stood up for the Jewish delicatessen!

See you Monday night at Ben’s. And thank you.

12 Responses to “D Day”

  1. jim emerson Says:

    Call the art department! That pastrami in the cover photo is cut too thick!

  2. Victor C. Silvertein Says:

    Mazel Tov,
    May all your pastramis be well sliced and your kishkas, kugels and kreplach be well cooked, but please have some rachmones for a forgotten dish, “pitcha.”
    You have taken a on well needed mission in life. You should live to be a 120 plus one day; after all, why should somebody die on their birthday!

  3. Marilla Wex Says:

    Hey David – congratulations!

    See you on Thursday at Caplansky’s.

    Love from the Wexes

  4. dana joy Says:

    Congrats David! looking forward to your chicago book signing at Manny’s. The book is fantastic!

  5. Stephen Lyle Says:

    Extremely excited about book launch and party tonight at Ben’s! Now the fact that delis give basic structure to the universe (Einstein thought they might explain dark matter) will be self-evident to ever-growing numbers of people who yearn for eternal truth…

  6. Richard Denby Says:

    Congratulations on the publication of your book. In your honor I am brining and smoking a pastrami in my smokehouse outside of Guadalajara, Mexico on Friday.

  7. Memo Cruz Says:

    A huevo Cabrón! así se hacen las cosas, muchas felicidades y nos vemos el jueves.


  8. Nancy Leah Dudwick Says:

    I would like to see the deli survive. Unfortunately, so many of us have to watch our cholesterol, salt, etc. However, it seems that there would be a number of low-sodium, low-fat vegetarian dishes that would help the situation.

  9. Stu Shiffman Says:

    I celebrated with an in-depth discussion of lukshen kugel during break today.

  10. Heather McGrath Says:

    Congratulations, David! From Lauren’s former roommate Laura’s niece Sara’s mother Heather! We’re practically related.

  11. Brian Mazoff Says:

    Mazel Tov Dave! I wish you continued success and a strong heart:D

  12. Babs Says:

    How can I ever go back to New York without visiting my favorite Deli…Ben’s…Please don’t leave…

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