Save the Deli

Save the Deli : In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen

3.83 (247 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

David Sax's delightful travelogue is a journey across the United States and around the world that investigates the history, the diaspora, and the next generation of delicatessen. David Sax was alarmed by the state of Jewish delicatessen. As a journalist and lifelong deli lover, he watched in dismay as one beloved deli after another closed its doors, only to be reopened as some bland chain restaurant laying claim to the cuisine it just paved over. Was it still possible to save the deli? He writes about the food itself--how it's made, who makes it best, and where to go for particular dishes--and, ultimately, what he finds is hope: deli newly and lovingly made in places like Boulder, Colorado, longstanding deli traditions thriving in Montreal, and the resurrection of iconic institutions like New York's 2nd Avenue Deli. No cultural history of food has ever tasted so good.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 319 pages
  • 147.32 x 210.82 x 27.94mm | 362.87g
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations, frontispiece
  • 0151013845
  • 9780151013845
  • 1,765,911

Review quote

"David Sax is the M. F. K. Fisher of pickled meats. After "Save the Deli, " you'll never take a pastrami sandwich for granted again. You'll also be moved by Sax's wonderful portrayal of the folks behind the counters, and their fascinating thoughts on cultural identity, the relentless passage of time--and, of course, kreplach."--A. J. Jacobs, author of "The Know It All, The Year of Living Biblically, " and the forthcoming "The Guinea Pig Diaries" "Nobody this young should be so smart or know so much about delicatessens. He may go down in history as a Jewish hero, the man who saved rye bread. The kid knows how to eat and he knows how to write. You can't ask for more than that, although a glass of cream soda is always nice." --Alan Richman, author of "Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater" "What if they gave a pastrami on rye and nobody came? Unthinkable? That's what you think. David Sax knows better, and traces the history of the American (and Canadian. And British!) deli-- its arrival, its rise, its potential fall, its possible salvation-- with passion, humor, "chutzpah," and "tam." Enjoy."-- Ellis Weiner, co-author of "Yiddish with Dick and Jane "and "Oy! Do This, Not That""A delightful tour of Jewish delicatessens across the nation and abroad, David Sax opens a necessary discussion about the very future of those beloved, yet dwindling, institutions. "Save the Deli" is a great read."--Ed Koch"This book is the result of an epic journey, akin to "The Odyssey" but with Rolaids. With insight, passion, and a digestive system at which one can only marvel, Sax peers between the layers of a pastrami sandwich and glimpses the evolution of community and identity in North America today."--Roger Bennett, author of "Bar Mitzvah Disco" and "Camp Camp" "David Sax's passionate manifesto for sustaining the Jewish deli is so intensely evocative that to read it is like inhaling the aroma of steaming corned beef getting slice
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Back cover copy

Praise for "Save the Deli" "Part elegy, part lament, part rallying cry for a generation whose nitrate levels are already dangerously low, "Save the Deli" is an unparalleled look at the past, present and possible future of the pastrami, corned beef, smoked meat, kishka and cabbage rolls that have given generations the strength to kvetch and a reason to do so." - Michael Wex, author of" Born to Kvetch" "A voluptuous mitzvah for schmaltzophiles, "Save the Deli" also is a singularly practical guide to the best delis from coast to coast and around the world." -- Jane and Michael Stern, authors of "Roadfood""""What if they gave a pastrami on rye and nobody came? Unthinkable? That's what you think. David Sax knows better, and traces the history of the deli-- its arrival, its rise, its potential fall, its possible salvation-- with passion, humor, "chutzpah," and "tam." Enjoy." -- Ellis Weiner, author of "Yiddish with Dick and Jane" "The kid knows how to eat and he knows how to write. You can't ask for more than that, although a glass of cream soda is always nice." --Alan Richman, author of "Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater "
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Flap copy

"With insight, passion, and a digestive system at which one can only marvel, Sax peers between the layers of a pastrami sandwich and glimpses the evolution of Jewish community and identity." - Roger Bennett, author of "Bar Mitzvah Disco" As a journalist and life-long deli obsessive, David Sax was understandably alarmed by the state of Jewish delicatessen. A cuisine that had once thrived as the very center of Jewish life had become endangered by assimilation, homogenization, and health food trends. He watched in dismay as one beloved deli after another--one institution after another--shuttered, only to be reopened as some bland chain-restaurant laying claim to the very culture it just paved over. And so David set out on a journey across the United States and around the world in search of authentic delicatessen. Was it still possible to "Save the Deli"? Join David as he investigates everything deli-- its history, its diaspora, its next generation. He tells about the food itself--how it's made, who makes it best, and where to go for particular dishes. And, ultimately, he finds is hope-- deli newly and lovingly made in places like Boulder, traditions maintained in Montreal, and iconic institutions like the 2nd Avenue Deli resurrected in New York. So grab a pastrami on rye and sit down for a great read-- because "Save the Deli "is an energetic cultural history of Jewish food, a vibrant travelogue, and a rallying cry for a new generation of food lovers.
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Rating details

247 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 23% (58)
4 43% (105)
3 29% (71)
2 5% (12)
1 0% (1)
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