Saturday, May 19, 2012

Deli Food Around the World

Delicatessens flourish around the world from New York to Bologna, offering an authentic glimpse into the flavors and ingredients of a country’s cuisine. The wonderfully varied choices include bagels heaped with cream cheese in New York; paper-thin slices of pastrami in Montreal; springy rounds of mozzarella in Italy; and pickled herring in Denmark.

2nd Avenue Deli inexpensive 162 East 33rd St.; Fill up on triple-decker sandwiches of peppery pastrami and grilled salami with plenty of Russian dressing; mushroom-and-barley soup; broiled chicken livers; and potato pancakes sweetened with warm apple sauce. This time-worn deli may have moved from Second Avenue, but it still offers the same quintessential deli fare, giant portions, and no-nonsense service.
Katz’s Deli
205 East Houston St.;
There are sandwiches, and then there are sandwiches. For the latter, make for Katz’s Deli, the renowned Jewish deli established in 1888 on the Lower East Side. Here, pastrami comes towering on rye, and giant, steaming knoblewurst (garlic beef sausage) dwarfs the bread it sits on. For dessert, try an egg cream, a uniquely New York concoction of milk, chocolate syrup, and carbonated water.
Russ & Daughters
179 East Houston St.;
This shrine to smoked fish dates back to 1914, when Joel Russ began selling salt-cured herring and salmon. Since then, Russ & Daughters has continued to satiate the smoked-fish cravings of New Yorkers with curried herring, smoked Danish salmon, and one of the finest caviar selections in Manhattan, from Siberian Osetra to salmon roe.
200 Fifth Avenue;
This temple to Italian cuisine, with marble-topped bars and high ceilings, showcases a superb array of Italian specialties: fat-streaked prosciutto from Parma; crumbly reggiano Parmesan from Emilia- Romagna; Rome-style pizzas bubbling with mozzarella and pepperoni; and Chianti and Brunello wines from Tuscany. In short: you can skip the trip to Italy – Eataly pretty much has it all.
Los Angeles, with its rich Jewish heritage, features a broad array of historic delis that serve all the traditional favorites, from matzo ball soup, brisket, and corned beef to smoked fish, chopped liver, and blueberry blintzes.
Factor’s Famous Deli
9420 West Pico Blvd.; Slip into a roomy booth at this legendary deli, on Pico Boulevard since 1948, and fill up on rich deli specialties, including hot peppered beef, smoked liverwurst, and whitefish salad.
Nate and Al’s
414 North Beverly Dr.;
Nate and Al’s claims to be a “deli with heart” – and chances are you’ll agree. It’s lively and inviting, and serves homemade specials that might rival those of a Jewish grandmother. Try chicken noodle soup, corned beef and cabbage, and bursting frankfurters.
419 North Fairfax Ave.;
This historic Jewish deli, long a favorite with the showbusiness crowd, serves up hearty fare, including matzo ball soup, challah (braided bread), and brisket. Langer’s
704 South Alvarado;
Deli-lovers from all over LA make a pilgrimage to Langer’s for its famous pastrami sandwich (No. 19 on the menu), piled high with thick-cut pastrami and Swiss cheese and served with creamy coleslaw.
Montreal’s delicatessens are famous for their smoked meats, often served between huge chunks of rye bread with pickles on the side.
The city is also known for its tasty bagels, which Montrealers say are even better than in New York City. You be the judge.
Fairmount Bagel Bakery
74 ave Fairmount ouest;
Sink your teeth into one of Fairmount’s warm bagels, made with unbleached flour, hand-rolled, and – here’s the secret – baked in a wood-fired oven, and you’ll understand why this is Montreal’s best bagelry.
There are more than 20 varieties to choose from.
Wilensky’s Light Lunch
34 ave Fairmount ouest; (514) 271-0247 The frozen-in-time decor is as much a draw as the delicious bologna sausage and salami at this deli, which hasn’t changed since 1932 – and that includes the grill and drinks machine. The prices, happily, also seem stuck in the past.
Reuben’s Deli
1116 rue Ste-Catherine ouest;
Taste your way through an array of smoked meats at this amiable deli. For variety, Reuben’s also serves juicy steaks, Greek salads, and even cheesy lasagna.
Enjoy a Canadian beer (or three) with your meal.
3895 boulevard St-Laurent;
This Montreal institution serves colossal smokedmeat sandwiches, with brusque service thrown in as part of the package. Be prepared to wait (and salivate) on weekends, when the line stretches out the door and down the sidewalk.


The word “delicatessen” is derived from the German, although in Germany, delis are more like specialty food halls – emporiums selling delicacies and fine food, from herb-scented sausages and caviar to exquisite tarts.
Feinkost Käfer
Prinzregentenstrasse 73;
Gourmands flock to this upmarket delicatessen, market, and restaurant, which is filled with local and international delicacies, including over 350 types of cheeses, roast ham, smoked meats, walnut-studded bread, and their justly famous raspberry tart.
Dienerstrasse 14–15; Enjoy everything from smoked sausages and caviar to rich coffees, fragrant teas, and flaky pastries at this luxury delicatessen and restaurant that dates back to the 17th century. BOLOGNA, ITALY The region of Emilia-Romagna and its capital, Bologna, are celebrated for their rich culinary traditions (see also pp146–7). Bologna’s nickname is La Grassa (“the fat one”), and the city’s delicatessens feature a bounty of cheeses, olives, and especially cured pork meats, from prosciutto to salami to mortadella.
La Salumeria Bruno e Franco
Via Oberdan 16;
Widely considered one of Bologna’s best delis, Bruno e Franco features traditional Italian fare, including superb olive oils, fresh and cured meats, Modena balsamic vinegar, the regional reggiano Parmesan cheese, jellies and preserves, and also excellent seafood salads, from octopus to shrimp.
A.F. Tamburini
Via Caprarie 1;
Ham haunches and fat salami hang from the ceiling and pungent cheeses fill the counter at this venerable delicatessen. Sit in the warm café where you can also order fresh tortellini topped with rich Bolognese sauce, which got its name from the city.
In Copenhagen, traditional delicatessen fare is served in a variety of forms, perhaps most famously as the country’s beloved open-face sandwiches, smørrebrød , which are heaped with everything from tangy herring and capers to roast pork.
Hansens Gamle Familiehave
Pile Allé 10;
Dig in to splendid smørrebrød at this historic outdoor eatery (which has a sliding roof so that patrons can stay toasty in winter). Take your pick from thinly sliced roast beef on dark rye, herring topped with a quivering egg, smoked eel, meatballs, and more.
As for what to drink: Danish beer, of course.
Meyer’s Deli
Gammel Kongevej 107;
This popular deli and restaurant is helmed by chef and gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer, an enthusiastic proponent of locally sourced Nordic cuisine. Enjoy a wide range of deli fare, including organic bread from the on-site bakery, grilled sausage with homemade ketchup, and salami with fennel. If you’re here on a weekend, don’t miss the superb brunch.

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