In case you were wondering, today is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich day! I discovered that there is an actual webpage dedicated to listing all the things nationally recognized for every day of the year. It’s amazing! Today is also National Dress Up Your Pet Day, National Ratification Day, and National Sunday Supper Day.
Ironically, pastrami sandwiches are one of my favorites so naturally it was the obvious choice for dinner. And here we are. But first a little history…..
Pastrami is a popular deli meat most often made from beef. It was originally created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration. To make traditional pastrami, the raw meat is placed in brine, then partially dried, seasoned with various herbs and spices, smoked and steamed. A wave of Romanian Jewish immigration introduced pastrami (pronounced pastróme), a Romanian specialty, in the second half of the 19th century. Early English references had used the spelling “pastrama” before the modified “pastrami” spelling was used. New York kosher butcher, Sussman Volk is credited with creating the first pastrami sandwich in 1887, claiming to have gotten the recipe from a Romanian friend in exchange for a favor. Due to the overwhelming popularity of his sandwich, Volk converted his butcher shop into a restaurant to sell pastrami sandwiches. And the rest is, as they say, history!
The pastrami sandwich I love is a variation of a Reuben sandwich. It’s called a Rachel. Pastrami, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and French dressing are all swaddled together between two pieces of toasted Rye bread for a sandwich extravaganza. A word to the wise- stock up on napkins with this baby. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, salty and tangy, but it’s also super messy. A real hot mess, but in a good way! A kosher dill pickle on the side and I feel like I’m sitting in a NYC deli. Now if I only had a picture of Jennifer Anniston…..