Saturday, September 19, 2009


I love Pastrami.. I live 3 blocks from Katz's .. I eat it a lot!

On a recent trip to Turkey I found an old man selling something that looked like Pastrami.. but wasn't what I was used to eating.
After a little research I was excited to learn that pastrami was much more than a NY deli staple.

So back in the day people would brine whatever meat they couldn't eat at the time of slaughter.
Most common ways of preserving meat was through salting, smoking, or brining.

Its said that Pastrami is probably a descendant of Balkan smoked meats, especially Romanian Pastramă. And likely rooted in the Turkish pastırma.

This stuff is totally different than the pastrami we're used to eating. The meat is salted, washed and dried for 10-15 days and all the blood and salt is squeezed out. Its covered with a paste usually consisting of cumin, paprika, fenugreek, and garlic.
To serve its sliced really thin and sometimes fried in olive oil, or served "as is" on mezze plates.

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