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The Jewish deli is as much a part of NYC cultural fabric as the Yankees or the Empire State Building. There are the historic delis that are as much living museums as restaurants, such as Katz’s or Barney Greengrass, then there are the newcomers who’ve upped the ante without disrespecting tradition. Before you dive into this challenge, a word of caution: It will inspire severe and intense cravings for pastrami, kosher dills, and Meg Ryan’s “Oh, my God” moment at Katz's Deli.
Jewish delicatessens arose in the 1880s when groups of observant Jews began to arrive in NYC from Eastern Europe, (mainly Poland and Russia.) Their religious practices entailed keeping kosher which also necessitated a double set of restaurants, too. One set served meat and the other could serve dairy. The word "delicatessen" was originally German, meaning something like "delicious things to eat." It was first used in 1889 in America to identify a place that served a menu of cured meats and sausages — often prepared as sandwiches on rye bread — as well as other types of food, including soups and pickled vegetables like cabbage, cucumbers, and green tomatoes. As the delicatessen evolved, it added further dishes to its repertoire, some that were considered Jewish, some not.
"One of the great inventions of the American deli was pastrami." ...... Claudia Rodin
The centerpiece of any New York Jewish deli is pastrami. This is usually a beef brisket that’s been soaked in brine for an extended period (like corned beef), rubbed with spices that include crushed black peppercorns and coriander seed, then smoked and allowed to sit before a final boiling/steaming prior to cutting.
The first mention of the word pastrami in print dates back to 1831, but the term found wide currency with the immigration of a sizable population of Romanian Jews who settled on the Lower East Side in the latter half of he 19th century. Katz’s Delicatessen opened in 1888, and it can lay claim to being the longest running restaurant to serve the dish.
Much mystery clouds the origins of the Reuben sandwich. In fact, there are two stories that compete for authenticity. The more straightforward one credits New York’s Reuben’s Delicatessen with the invention sometime around 1914, but even those who ascribe to this telling are split. They say that the Reuben was either 1) a scrappy improvisation made when the kitchen was strapped for ingredients, and served to the famous Broadway actress Marjorie Rambeau, or 2) a creation dreamed up by the deli’s chef for owner Arnold Reuben’s son, Arnold Jr. Another theory pins the reuben’s origin to about a decade later, give or take, when a group of men partook in a weekly poker game at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. A player asked for a dish that would incorporate two of his favorite foods: corned beef and sauerkraut. He was pleased when the hotel owner’s son presented him with a piping hot sandwich, piled high with these ingredients. That poker player’s name? Reuben Kulakofsky.
However it was invented, the Reuben remains a sandwich-shop mainstay. In fact, no delicatessen would dare call itself a delicatessen without a Reuben sandwich on the bill of fare. A Reuben Is Not a Reuben Unless It Has Five Essential Ingredients! Those 5 ingredients are corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and rye bread. It’s just not considered a Reuben sandwich if you change it; it’s basically just a grilled sandwich.
Aug 12- Aug 25
All New York City challenges must be completed by 11:59pm Central on August 25.
STYLE OF PLAY: Individual Cooking Challenge
POINTS: 3 points per player
LIMIT: up to 4 players per team may participate
For this Challenge:
~Players are to select, prepare and review either a pastrami sandwich or a rueben sandwich from the Approved Recipes List found here: Welcome to New York City! http://4foodfriendsandfun.yuku.com/topic/1716/Welcome-to-New-York-City
~The total prep & cooking time as posted by the recipe author must be 30 minutes or under.
~Up to 4 players from each team may participate in this challenge.
~Return to this challenge thread to report your completion (include your team banner), and include a working link to the recipe.
~Post the same in your team's thread
~In your completion posts, please remember to:
~ include any photo(s) you posted to the recipe that you reviewed
~ include your team banner
Last Edited By: Susie D Aug 10 16 11:31 AM. Edited 1 time