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September 07 , 2007

The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home


Finally, fifty years after I started eating pastrami sandwiches and knishes at Wilshire’s Deli in Cedarhurst, Long Island, Nick Zukin and Michael C. Zusman have written a cookbook that allows delicatessen enthusiasts to make their favorite deli dishes at home. Making your own knishes? No problem. Rustle up your own pickles? Bring it on. Michael and Nick manage to make deli food simultaneously contemporary and timeless, which is no easy feat. If reading The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home doesn’t make you hungry, you’ve never rhapsodized over a pastrami sandwich or driven a hundred miles for a transcendent plate of latkes. If my grandmother, the greatest Jewish deli–style cook I’ve ever known, were alive she’d be kvelling over this book.”
—Ed Levine, founder of

“Michael and Nick’s handsome book brings some of your favorite deli recipes and memories into your home kitchen. Their pickles, knishes, and pastrami are just like you remember, only better!”
—Joan Nathan, author of Jewish Cooking in America

“Before you open this book, be sure to crack a window, because your house will soon reek of the glorious funk of delicatessen. The mouthwatering scent of baking bagels, bubbling soups, and steaming pickled meats will conquer every square inch of available air, bathing it all in a rich, delicious patina of schmaltz. Don’t be surprised if a sarcastic waiter named Abe appears in your kitchen. The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home will turn any house into a delicatessen worth its weight in knishes.”
—David Sax, author of Save the Deli

If you don’t happen to live near one of the new wave of artisan-style Jewish delis that have sprung up around North America over the last few years, not to worry. With this book, the world of Jewish deli, in all its unsubtle splendor—can be yours in the comfort (and privacy) of your own kitchen. And it’s not that hard. Really. On top of all the Jewish deli classics, The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home offers updates and new angles on the oldways that are bound to thrill the palates of a modern generation of eaters focused on quality ingredients and a lighter-handed approach to a traditionally heavy cuisine.

The chapters are organized into:Starters and Sides; Soups and Salads; Eggs, Fish, and Dairy; Beef; Bagels, Bialys, and Breads; and Pastries, Desserts, and Drinks. The range of favorite recipes include: Crispy Potato Latkes with Chunky Ginger Applesauce; Summer Chicken Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber and Cracklings; Wise Sons’ Chocolate Babka French Toast; Home Oven Pastrami; and Celery Soda.

Added cultural context comes from quick-hitting interviews with Joan Nathan and other Jewish food luminaries; histories of a few deli stalwarts such as bagels and pastrami; and first-hand reports from within the walls of the authors’ favorite temples of modern Jewish gastronomy located across the country including: Mile End Delicatessen in New York City; Wise Sons Delicatessen in San Francisco; Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen in Portland, OR; Stopsky's Delicatessan in Mercer Island, Washington; and Caplansky's Delicatessen in Toronto.

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