The Shmooze

Pastrami With a Side of Sustainability

By Devra Ferst

  • Print
  • Share Share

In the world of Jewish food, the iconic deli and the sustainable food movement seem like strange bedfellows. But in a post-Alice Waters world such is no longer the case, at least according to an article by Julia Moskin, “Can the Jewish Deli Be Reformed?” in today’s New York Times.

Delis, which once thrived on the fact that they could sell cheap meat brined, smoked, roasted or ‘cued and smothered in seasoning, are no longer up to snuff for discerning deli aficionados. And, as David Sax, author of Save the Deli, points out, old delis with overly long and poorly executed menus are dying by the dozen.

But Moskin’s article provides hope for conscientious deli fans who like their corned beef with a side of sustainability and authenticity. Moskin discusses delis like Brooklyn’s Mile End, which buys its meat from butcher-to-the-stars Pat La Frieda and makes its salami in-house, to ensure its high quality and sustainability. Owner of Mile End, Noah Bernamoff, told Moskin, “Other ethnicities have reinvented their comfort food, their grandmothers’ recipes, and made great restaurants. Where is ours?”

Certainly an intriguing thought, but can the Jewish deli ever be truly sustainable? Probably not, as the meat used to make deli delights like pastrami come from just a fraction of the cow, and only part of a cow is kosher to begin with. Peter Levitt, a co-owner of Saul’s Restaurant and Deli in Berkeley, explained in the article that “there’s no such thing as a nose-to-tail deli.” His restaurant boycotted pastrami after failing to find a kosher version that was also sustainable.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Smoked, Save The Deli, Saul's Restaurant And Deli, Salami, Roasted, Peter Levitt, Pat La Frieda, New York Times, Mile End, Deli, Julia Moskin, David Sax, Corned Beef, Brooklyn, Brined, Alice Waters, Sustainability

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.