Thousands of people across America type in Google, “Jewish deli near me” and for good reason. Usually, it’s done with an urgency to locate the nearest kosher deli offering timeless tastes that millions crave worldwide. However, how many people stop to consider how it all began? How did the New York-style Jewish deli become so popular across America?
This article is focused on exploring the rich history of New York-style Jewish delis and celebrating our Jewish-American ancestry after migrating to the Land of the Free many, many decades ago. Perhaps you’ll find our look back in time enticing a greater interest in the menu options you’ll find at Chompies next time you’re in for a visit.
Keep reading to learn more about the New York Jewish Delicatessen.
The History of Jewish Delis in America
While a red apple may be an iconic New York symbol, so can the overstuffed, mile-high pastrami sandwich on rye. New York is known for its rich, mixed-cultural influence of immigrants from around the world. More specifically, Jewish immigrants are widely recognized for their ever-present neighborhood delicatessen.
During the 19th century, an influx of Jewish immigrants arrived in New York City from all over Europe. Upon arrival, many Jewish families began noticing the grocery stores of other immigrant homelands: the German bakeries, the Chinese markets, etc. What began as Kosher butcher shops eventually evolved into Jewish delicatessens; a hybrid of meat butcher services and where kosher food products and meals were sold.
Jewish Delicatessen and Word Meaning
To more fully understand and appreciate the evolution of Jewish delis in America, it’s best you understand what the word means and how it was used to convey a rich meaning to the community.
The word “delicatessen” is derived from the French word, délicatesse , which means “delicious things to eat”. To open a Jewish delicatessen was to offer the community a place of mutual cultural connection over their widely-cherished traditional Jewish foods.
As the American family progressed past the era of the Great Depression, more Jewish households began relying on their neighborhood delicatessen for dinnertime takeout meals.
They also grew in popularity alongside the boom of the entertainment industry. For example, having a night out on Broadway to see a show, followed by a visit to the nearby deli grew strong and remains a common tradition, even in today’s society.
Pastrami Sandwiches and So Much More
The growth of New York-style Jewish delis rapidly spread with approximately 1,500 kosher delis during the 1930s in New York alone. Since then, New York-style Jewish delis have grown rapidly, existing in all the major cities across the nation. Not only can you expect to see the famous pastrami on rye sandwiches on the menu, but also other delicious, traditional meats, seafood, cheeses, bread, salads, and more!
Chompie’s is Serving New York Eats and Deli Favorites for the Whole Family!
Whether you’re in the mood for a pastrami sandwich or looking for a sweet treat, Chompie’s is your Jewish go-to in the Phoenix metro area! Since 1979, Chompie’s has been the restaurant of choice for Arizonians looking for an authentic menu that serves items like latkes, matzo ball soup, knishes, and so much more.
Additionally, we are known for our New York-style menu serving classic deli items like bagels, mile-high sandwiches, and colossal Reubens. We are proud of our long history of service and look forward to creating experiences you will not forget .