The Pastrami Dilemma

You might be inclined to think there’s nothing interesting about the history and production of pastrami, but then you’d be wrong.

Chow has a fascinating look at contemporary delis trying to make their own pastrami and struggling to do so for a variety of factors. For example, modern pastrami is made from the brisket instead of the navel cut because navel is fatty and expensive due to high demand in Asia. At the same time, brining the meat takes too long to keep up with demand and many artisanal pastrami makers resort to water injections, a technique used by industrial pastrami manufacturers.

Here’s the part where I confess to loving pastrami sandwiches and can’t speak highly enough about Kenny & Zukes Deli in Portland, Ore., which is featured in the Chow story.

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