Deli culture, much like pizza and bagel culture, is part of the New Yorkers’ (specifically Long Islanders’) DNA.  If you’re from Long Island, you know someone who worked in a deli or have worked in one yourself, and you most definitely have a strong opinion about which deli you think is best. 

Hands holding a bacon egg and cheese sandwich cut in half with the yolk dripping.

If you prefer video, watch the full episode 7 YouTube video version.

We explore deli culture through the lens of native Long Islanders and how leaving New York can create a yearning for those things that are uniquely “deli”:  the glistening white potato and macaroni salads, the prolific bacon egg and cheese on a roll, the familiar face of the dude behind the counter smiling as he asks, “what’ll it be chief?”.  

We also discuss Jim’s experience as a deli worker, the most popular Long Island deli lunch and breakfast orders, the importance of a properly wrapped deli sandwich, the prep involved ahead of the lunch rush, the influence of Boar’s Head and it’s significance in deli culture, and how Jim perfected the recipes for New York deli macaroni salad, potato salad, and coleslaw. 

We also discuss the importance of the round deli roll that looks like a Kaiser roll, but is anything but, the Italian hero and why it never has mayo, and Jim regales us with excerpts from his deli days and why you should never block someone in with your car!

Italian sub on seeded roll with lettuce, tomato, cherry peppers, and onions showing.

Resources

If you enjoyed the Long Island Deli Episode, leave us a comment below and let us know!

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2 Comments

  1. This podcast made me very homesick. Moved south after living on Long Island for 46 years. I can’t understand why there are no delis here in the south (except for Boca Raton aka the 6th Borough).?? Instead we have Waffle House, IHOP and fast food everywhere. Yuck! People here could not possibly understand what they are missing. The deli salad recipe episodes made me nostalgic for the Butcher on William Floyd just south of the rail road tracks. I used to get meat, store made sausages, cold cuts, and the most delicious deli salads there in the 80s. There was a produce – grocery store next door. Thanks for the memories and the recipes.

    1. Hi Regina, thanks for the comment and while we’re sorry to have made you homesick, we’re glad some good memories were stirred up. Thanks for listening!