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.