January 14 marks National Pastrami Day, and to celebrate pastrami’s role in American culture, the North American Meat Institute and Beef Checkoff released new video recipes that showcase this succulent beef’s versatility.
Americans’ love of pastrami dates back to its arrival in the late 1800s, when it was first served in New York City by Lithuanian immigrant Sussman Volk, who was given the recipe by his Romanian friend in repayment of a favor. By the 1920s and 30s, delis in New York City’s theater district helped further popularize pastrami, often serving stacks of the delicious meat on rye with a pickle on the side. The pastrami sandwich became closely linked with Jewish culture and celebration, and pastrami was commonly served at weddings and bar mitzvahs – again, only on rye.
The new video recipes show that today’s pastrami is not just for stacking on rye. They feature innovative pastrami dishes for each meal, including pastrami, egg and cheese for breakfast; pastrami tacos for lunch; pastrami-inspired barbecue for dinner and a pastrami boosted burger.
“Our love of pastrami has been the subject of hit songs, famous movie scenes and global festivals,” said North American Meat Institute Vice President of Public Affairs Eric Mittenthal. “Today, creative chefs have developed many unique ways to serve pastrami, but it doesn’t take a culinary degree to use it to boost the flavor of many dishes.”
In addition to the new videos, the Meat Institute and Beef Checkoff developed an online Guide to Pastrami complete with fun facts, trivia, interesting preparation ideas and a sampling of unique pastrami offerings from across the country. The guide also includes details on the differences between pastrami and corned beef and a variety of pastrami options that fit into different nutrition categories such as “low fat.”
The Meat Institute and Beef Checkoff will be highlighting all of these resources and more using #NationalPastramiDay on January 14.