New Travel Book: ‘Save the Deli’

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  10.21.09 | 3:40 PM ET

Photo by stevendepolo via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Here’s one for traveling pastrami-lovers everywhere.

“Save the Deli” follows author David Sax around Europe and North America in search of a shrinking number of Jewish delicatessens—and, though the project was driven by fears for a declining institution, the result seems to be a hopeful one.

In a letter to potential readers posted on Amazon, Sax addresses the “heresy” of his search for the deli in such unlikely spots as Salt Lake City or Brussels:

Three years ago, when I began working on this book, I too had fallen prey to the misguided notion that great deli was only confined to New York and Montreal. Anything outside those cities had to be a pale imitation. I, like many Jewish deli lovers, was narrow-minded, could see and imagine no further than the local delicatessen I frequented…a village simpleton who knows nothing beyond his little shtetl and the salamis therein.

But as I hit the road, in search of the story of delicatessen in American and around the world, I tasted revelation after revelation.

Publishers Weekly describes these revelations as “joyful moments in this otherwise elegiac travelogue,” and notes that the book’s “well-crafted portraits don’t string together perfectly, but individual chapters shine.”

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

1 Comment for New Travel Book: ‘Save the Deli’

Virginia bed and breakfast 10.22.09 | 6:47 AM ET

Deli lovers came out in droves to Benís Kosher Delicatessen last night, to celebrate the launch of David Saxís book, Save the Deli. Over piles of pastrami, buckets of pickles, platters of coleslaw, latkes and rugalach, the Feed asked Sax to name his favorite New York City delis

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