Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time

Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Deli Meat...Not Quite Cold Cuts

I must confess, that the words "deli meat" frighten me. They conjure up images of baloney, turkey roll, and other scary extruded meat products that have been stored a tad to long in a finger-smudged glass case. I can certainly attribute this aversion to my culinary upbringing.

I was raised on "cold cuts" which I suppose are the kosher version of "deli meats". We would dine on corned beef, pastrami, tongue and fresh turkey (not turkey roll) almost every Sunday night. Somehow these meats were more acceptable, perhaps because they were made from one entire piece of meat, rather than an amalgam of parts (much like the hot dogs I fear). Hmmm.. yet the same cannot be said for salami which was also included, go figure.

I continued to eat corned beef and pastrami on a fairly regular basis until I met A. I would take him for bulging pastrami sandwiches at the Carnegi Deli and we would share one and still have leftovers. I so delighted in eating those sandwiches that my dad even set up an account for me there. This compelled me to eat there more often than I should have.
A. began to try to dissuade me from this habit and after having indulged would grumble, "Friends don't let friends eat meat."

Eventually I realized that I didn't feel especially healthy or perky after eating those sandwiches. So I curtailed my consumption which is now probably down to one pastrami sandwich a year, if that. I will only indulge if I know it is going to be primo pastrami (nothing from any old deli please).

Izzy has yet to to experience great pastrami or corned beef, though I do hope to introduce him to tongue soon. I don't buy those things for sandwiches because they are so unhealthy and since I rarely indulge he has yet to have the opportunity. In one sense this saddens me because he will probably never crave that which was such an important part of my culinary imprint.

On the other hand, I imagine he may often have a hankering for freshly roasted turkey... which is far healthier. And I suppose that is the point...up to a point!

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