Karen Mansfield/Observer-Reporter

Chicco Baccello is a popular Washington coffee shop. From left are Talon Cain, Haylea Ellis, Grace Watt, co-owners Lisa Aprea and Jim Martin, and Brenda Celani. Not pictured is co-owner Nancy Ogburn.

Editor’s note: This is a weekly series focusing on the importance of buying local.

Hot Pastrami can be a menu item at many delicatessens around the country.

That is no different across Southwestern Pennsylvania.

On such deli is Countryside Deli, Henderson Avenue, Washington. Manager Robin Burns said the business sells “a fair amount of pastrami sandwiches.”

“Honestly, while it’s not an overwhelming amount, the amount we do sell is more than I expected,” Burns said. “A lot of it is (pastrami) sandwiches.”

Those pastrami lovers celebrated Thursday as the sandwich was recognized on National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day.

A popular delicatessen meat, pastrami is typically made from beef. However, some make their pastrami sandwich with pork, mutton, or turkey. Before refrigeration, butchers originally created pastrami to preserve meat.

In making pastrami, the raw meat is placed in brine. Then the meat is partially dried and seasoned with various herbs and spices to be smoked and steamed.

Area sandwich shops and restaurants features Reuben and Rachel sandwiches. Where Reubens are made with corned beef, Rachael’s consist of pastrami, coleslaw, swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye bread.

Locally Rachels are served at:

The Union Grill

  • , Washington;

Chicco Baccello

  • , Washington.

And pastrami is sold at:

DeCarlo’s Market

  • , Elizabeth, sells pastrami from its deli and makes hot pastrami hoagies or sandwiches.

Route 40 Deli

  • also offers pastrami at its deli and sells hot pastrami sandwiches.

Chicco Baccello

  • , Washington.

According to www.nationaldaycalendar, “a wave of Romanian Jewish immigration introduced pastrami (pronounced pastróme), a Romanian specialty, in the second half of the 19th century. Early English references used the spelling “pastrama” before the modified “pastrami” spelling was used.

“New York kosher butcher, Sussman Volk earns credit for producing the first pastrami sandwich in 1887. He claimed to have gotten the recipe from a Romanian friend in exchange for storing his luggage. Due to the popularity of his sandwich, Volk converted his butcher shop into a restaurant to sell pastrami sandwiches.”

Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can call Chris Slota at 724-225-1326 or email at chris@belocal.net. Discount cards are available at the Observer-Reporter and Almanac office, 122 S. Main St., Washington.

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