The whole story of our pastrami begins with a sandwich. We ate it in New York. A few years ago. An American friend of Jewish origin, with culinary nostalgia inherited from his grandparents who left Romania during the war, made us surprise: take us to a famous Manhattan restaurant, perhaps the most famous at this time, to treat us with “Romanian pastrami”. We were not very enthusiastic! We had not struggled this far to eat something we had at home. Lo and behold? Between two slices of regular bread, coated with regular mustard, we received a half pound of hot matured beef, cut into thin ruby, juicy, slightly spicy, well smoked slices, with a sublime taste that can create addiction.
Soft, you could eat it with the spoon! Next to it, a pickled cucumber, like home, in brine! The next day, at the opening time, we were back at the door! Years went by and we have bought all the beef pastries that have come into our way on the Romanian market, we have tried to prepare them in all manners of ways, but we have not even come close to that taste experience. Nothing of the kind! Meanwhile, we could find on the Internet dozens of US restaurants that have built their notoriety on the Romanian pastrami. Or “Jewish-Romanian pastrami”. Or, in Canada, “smoked meat in Romanian style”. It had already begun to replace the corned beef in the famous Reuben Sandwich. It ambitioned us!
We have begun to ask our seniors about what their seniors were doing. It was different than it is today. Much slower. With more patience! Finally, we started together with a team of technologists our own research and experiments. As each sample was long for brine, it took us a year to get the much-wanted result. The innumerable tasting sessions with capable chefs tell us that we have succeeded!
Today we can say that we have brought the “Romanian pastrami” from America, back home!