There are some things that are staples of diners and delis everywhere. When you stop into one of these places for lunch, you know that there will always be a selection of old favorites on the menu. When it comes to these foods, everyone has their preferences, but in this article, we want to talk about one of our favorites: pastrami. This salty, spiced meat has stood the test of time, and if you’ve ever had it, you know there’s no mystery as to why. But how much do you know about pastrami, other than that it’s delicious?
Let’s take a closer look at this lunch favorite.
It’s older than you think.
We usually associate pastrami with Jewish immigrants, but it’s actually much older than that. The history of pastrami goes all the way back to the Ottoman Empire and a similar food called “pastirma.” The Ottomans took beef and rubbed it with a mixture of salt, spices, and garlic. They then air-dried and smoked the meat. The result was something not too different from the pastrami we know and love today.
Jewish immigrants made it popular.
The reason we associate pastrami with Jewish immigrants is that they were the people who put it on the map, so to speak. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, New York City was full of immigrants from all over the world, and most of them didn’t have very much money. Jewish immigrants in particular had a real knack for making affordable food that was also delicious, and other immigrant communities would frequent their delis and shops. To make pastrami, they would use a cheap cut of meat like brisket, which was something nearly everyone could afford to buy. As it was also tasty, it became a popular food in many immigrant communities.
The classics don’t change much.
The traditional pastrami sandwich is served on rye bread with mustard, and most delis and diners know better than to mess with success. While many people enjoy it with other additions and sides, no one wants to mess with the basics.
Grab lunch at Stow Cafe!
Whether you need a quick bite or a place a sit and chat with friends, Stow Cafe is the place to go! We have all your breakfast and lunch favorites, not to mention great coffee.
Visit us at 118 Great Road, or order online. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for updates!