History of the Delicatessen

February 15, 2018 4:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Throughout the world, delicatessens are known as accessible and inviting places to grab a bite to eat. Almost every culture on earth has some rendition of the simple deli: a shop selling high-quality, cured and prepared meats alongside prepared foods, like soups and sandwiches.

In the United States, delis are an essential part of popular culture. Delis continue to be one of the most trusted places to find a delicious and healthy bite to eat across the country.

American vs. European style

The American delicatessen has a rich history rooted in European and Jewish culture. American-style delis differ from their European counterparts in a number of ways, but both offer delicious deli meats.

In Europe, delicatessens typically only sell high-quality meats and cheeses, and do not prepare foods and sandwiches. European delis are luxurious places to buy high-caliber, locally produced and imported ingredients.

American delis, on the other hand, follow the Russian tradition of the kulinariya. They sell both prepared food, including soup, breads and baked goods, alongside raw ingredients such as high-quality cheeses and deli meats in Williamsport, PA. Most American delis sell both locally produced goods as well as meats and cheese imported from Europe.

What’s in a name

“Delicatessen” is a German loan word. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t derive from the German word “essen,” which means “to eat.” Delicatessen is actually a loanword in German, as well! Germans borrowed it from the French “délicatesse,” which means “delicious things.”

The French word “délicatesse” is subsequently derived from the Latin word “delicatus,” which means something that is delightful and pleasing.

History of American delis

Delicatessens have been operating in Europe since at least 1700, which is when the German food company Dallmayr began importing foreign fruits like bananas, mangoes and plums to its original store in Munich. Dallmayr imported goods from far-flung places such as the Canary Islands and China. To this day, Dallymayr is still Europe’s largest delicatessen brand. It also boasts one of Germany’s most popular brands of coffee.

The first American delis began popping up in immigrant communities in major cities, like New York, in the 1850s. An influx of German-Jewish families living on the eastern seaboard at the turn of the 20th century propagated an explosion of the number of delis in North America.

Other immigrant communities also began opening delis in America’s urban centers, like New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Greek delis, Russian delis and Italian delis proliferated throughout the country. Today, Kosher, Halal and conventional delis provide Americans with healthy and high-caliber foods at affordable rates.

Tony’s Delicatessen & Fresh Meats has been the premier deli in Williamsport, PA since 1977. We are proud to provide the region with some of the finest cuts of deli meat available. We offer a full range of delicious food products, including imported cheeses, high-quality meats, homemade baked goods, fresh-cut vegetables and fruit trays. Tony’s Delicatessen & Fresh Meats is the most reliable provider of delicatessen-style foods in the area. Reach out to one of our friendly and professional associates today to place your next order!

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