History of Food

History of Food

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

Pastrami was introduced from a wave of Jewish immigration during the second half of the 19th century.  It was subjected as a Romanian specialty.  The spelling started, according to Early English references as "pastrama."  Eventually the spelling was modified to “pastrami”.

Pastrami (Turkish: pastırma, Romanian: pastramă, Yiddish: פּאַסטראָמע pastróme) is a popular Jewish delicatessen meat usually made from beef, and sometimes from pork, mutton or turkey. The raw meat is brined, partially dried, seasoned with various herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed. Like most good life inventions, pastrami was created out of necessity.

In the United States, although beef plate is the traditional cut of meat for making pastrami, it is now common to see it made from beef brisket, beef round, and turkey. Like corned beef, pastrami was originally created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration.

New York kosher butcher, Sussman Volk is generally credited with producing the first pastrami sandwich in 1887, claiming to have gotten the recipe from a Romanian friend in exchange for storage of his luggage.  Due to the popularity of his sandwich, Volk converted his butcher shop into a restaurant to sell pastrami sandwiches.
Pastrami is typically sliced and served hot on rye bread, a classic New York deli sandwich (pastrami on rye), sometimes served with coleslaw and Russian dressing.

In Los Angeles – The classic pastrami sandwich is served with hot pastrami right out of the steamer, sliced very thin and wet from the brine then layered on double-baked Jewish-style rye bread.  It is traditionally accompanied by yellow mustard and pickles.

From a dietitian perspective, it isn't the pastrami is extremely high in fat, because it isn't.  It is considered moderately high in fat content.  In a 2 oz serving it is approximately 45% fat content.  This translated to moderately high in fat.  What we add to the sandwich what tilts the fat content, primarily the cheese on the sandwich.  Some people enjoy mayonnaise on the sandwich, typically it is served with mustard, versus mayonnaise.  With this knowledge, this isn't a food to completely avoid.  With the nutritional content of the Hot Pastrami Sandwich, adhere to the principle of "everything in moderation" is essential.

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