Mission to USA + Personal Deviation, Day 7 (see previously 7.037 Pretzel).
In New York. Here to attend a meeting Tuesday through today on NCDs at the United Nations. Plus to give a guest lecture Monday on global health at TU. Flying back on the redeye later tonight.
Originally planned for dinner yesterday, I made the trip to Katz’s — after the meeting had wrapped, after checking out of the hotel, I got there just past 16:00 — even though I had other dinner plans at 19:00.
Pastrami is a type of processed meat. Traditionally beef, specifically plate or brisket. First cured, then coated with spices, then cooked by smoking and/or boiling and/or steaming : steps intended both to make tender and tasty what was once considered a tough and tasteless cut, and to extend the shelf life of the meat. Origins attributed to Jews from Eastern Europe, brought over by immigrants in the late 19th century to the United States, where the meat would quickly become a staple item at inner city delicatessens and eventually go on to world fame as an American culinary icon.
The Hot Pastrami Sandwich was the best sandwich that I’ve ever experienced. Not so much as a sandwich per se, which consisted simply of rye bread and dark mustard — no other toppings or condiments available (except ketchup at the table). It was all about the meat : perfectly tender, perfectly juicy, perfectly seasoned, perfectly smoky — holy fuck — beyond anything that I could’ve dared to dream, inspired to imagine. And yes, no problem, I finished the whole thing (along with the corned beef, and the pickles, and the beer, and another beer).
I bought some pastrami to go, as well as a couple of salamis, which are sure to show up in future posts.