Delicatessen. From a German word that translates as “Delicate Eating”. Seriously ?
As I sat in a famous New York deli on a recent visit, I witnessed this phenomenon; it was not my first time.
This particular time, I was tired from what was about a 4 hour walk through the massive Christmas crowds at all the tourist attractions. Rockefeller Center with the ice rink and Christmas tree, Saks light show, Macy’s at Herald Square, Washington Square, Radio City Music Hall, Bryant Park, the NY Library, Fifth Avenue window displays, Times Square and Broadway…no one does Christmas quite like New York City.
I had my NY slice (pizza) a few hours earlier, so I was only interested in light eating before the 3 hour trip home. I took a tiny box of grapes with about an ounce of cheese, and a small cannoli. It was just an excuse to come in out of the cold and rest. Tab: $18.00.
What I observed around me was anything but “delicate” eating. Famous for their piled-high corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, the NY deli always delivers. I have had these myself in the past; still not sure how one gets 3 to 4 inches of sliced meat into the mouth; very carefully, for sure.
Another translation of delicatessen, from the French, is eating “delicacies” or special foods that provide pleasure. That’s more like it.