Delicatessen

Delicatessen

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Delicatessen is a term meaning "delicacies" or "fine foods". The word entered English via German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

,
with the old German spelling (modern German: Delikatessen), plural of Delikatesse "delicacy", ultimately from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 delicatus.

The term delicatessen has a secondary meaning in some countries, referring to stores that sell delicatessen; the word delicatessen thus also is used as a shortened term for delicatessen store. Sometimes this is further shorted to the informal term deli.

Origin of the word



Delicatessen is a German loanword
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

 in English. Reference works state that the word delicatessen comes from the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 Delicatessen, the plural form of Delicatesse. (This old spelling later changed to the spelling Delikatessen in modern German.) The word entered German from French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 délicatesse and means "delicious things (to eat)". It ultimately originated from the Latin adjective delicatus, meaning "giving pleasure, delightful, pleasing".

An alternative, and incorrect, popular etymology supposes that the -essen part of the word Delicatessen comes from the German verb essen (to eat), or the noun das Essen (the food). This would imply that the word is a portmanteau of the German words delikat (delicious; nominative case) and Essen.

Product base


Delicatessens in many parts of the world often sell their food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

s by weight such as cured meats, head cheese, sausages, ham, liverwurst, salami and other cold cut
Cold cut
Cold cuts are cheeses or precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves, that are sliced and usually served cold on sandwiches or on party trays. They can be bought pre-sliced in vacuum packs at a supermarket or grocery store, or they can be purchased at a delicatessen or deli counter,...

s, fried chicken
Fried chicken
Fried chicken is a dish consisting of chicken pieces usually from broiler chickens which have been floured or battered and then pan fried, deep fried, or pressure fried. The breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior...

, spare ribs
Spare ribs
Spare ribs are a variety of pork ribs and beef ribs, cooked and eaten in various cuisines around the world. They are the most inexpensive cut of pork and beef ribs. They are a long cut from the lower portion of the pig or cattle, specifically the belly and breastbone, behind the shoulder, and...

, cold salad
Salad
Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

s, pickled vegetables, dips
Dip (food)
A dip or dipping sauce is a common condiment for many types of food. Dips are used to add flavor and/or texture to a food, such as pita bread, dumplings, crackers, cut-up raw vegetables, seafood, cubed pieces of meat and cheese, potato chips, tortilla chips, and falafel...

, breads and olives. A supermarket may provide its own "deli" food, or even operate a delicatessen on-site. Like a supermarket, a delicatessen may also offer a selection of shelved food, often of the type that is not likely to be kept for more than a day.

Large Delicatessen stores or Deli shops sell cold cuts and meats, but the luxury food division includes confectionery, fine spirits, wines, exclusive cheeses, truffled pâté
Pâté
Pâté is a mixture of ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Common additions include vegetables, herbs, spices, and either wine or cognac, armagnac or brandy...

, caviar, foie gras, high quality coffee beans, fruit, spices, herbs, specialty breads, exclusive sweets, cookies, honey, tea and luxury handmade chocolate.

Europe



In Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, "delicatessen" has a rather different meaning from in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

; it designates top-quality (and top-price) foodstuffs. In German speaking countries a common synonym is Feinkost ("fine food"), and the shops which sell them are called Delikatessenläden ("stores for delicacies"), and department stores often have a Delikatessenabteilung ("delicacies department"). You can also find shops or departments in food stores called Delicatessen in Denmark, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Belgium, Hungary (called Deli), and the Netherlands.

Small US-style delicatessens may also be found in Europe, although they tend towards the luxury market. In Russia, the shops (and supermarket sections) that offer something close to US-style delis are called kulinariya and mostly offer various salads and main courses; the delicacy meats and cheeses, both cold-cut and sliced, are always sold in separate sections. The practice of making sandwiches to order is absent in both, and is limited to fast food joints like the recently introduced Subway franchise. The famous Eliseevsky food store in the centre of Moscow, on the other hand, resembles a delicatessen store in the European sense, complete with luscious fin de siecle decor. This historic establishment was preserved by Soviets from Tzarist era and was meant to serve as an exhibition piece of Russian food industry, carrying the most difficult-to-obtain delicacies.

Delicatessens may also provide specialist food from other countries and cultures which is not readily available in local food stores.

Luxury food shops in Europe include Fauchon
Fauchon
Fauchon is a French gourmet food company that was founded in 1886 by Auguste Fauchon. The company is based in Paris, France and operates retail outlets. Fauchon currently produces tea, chocolate, biscuits and sweets among other products.- History :...

 in Paris; Dallmayr
Dallmayr
Dallmayr is a luxury delicatessen food store in Munich, Germany, dating back to the 17th century. Its reputation is comparable to Fauchon in Paris, Fortnum & Mason in London, or Meiji-ya in Tokyo. About 2.5 million people visit the main store every year...

 in Munich, Germany; and Harrods
Harrods
Harrods is an upmarket department store located in Brompton Road in Brompton, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. The Harrods brand also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates, Harrods Aviation and Air...

 and Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason, often shortened to just "Fortnum's" is a department store, situated in central London, with two other branches in Japan. Its headquarters is located at 181 Piccadilly, where it was established in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason...

 in London.

Canada


In Canada, both uses of the term delicatessen are found. Immigrants from Europe often use the term in a manner consistent with its original German meaning. As well, even Jewish delis (as in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, for example) can be either strictly take-out, or mixed take-out and sit-down restaurants.

Australia



In most of Australia, delicatessen retains the standard European meaning. Large grocery supermarket chains often incorporate a specific deli department, and there is an abundance of stand-alone independent delicatessens across all parts of the country. Both formats offer a range of cured meats, sausage, pickled vegetables, dips, breads and olives.

The term deli is also used to denote a small convenience store or milk bar
Milk bar
Milk bar is a term in some parts of Australia for suburban local shops or general stores. They are known as tuck shops, delicatessens or delis in South Australia and Western Australia, and as corner stores in Queensland and New South Wales...

 in the states of Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

 and South Australia
South Australia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland...

 and some such businesses use deli in their business name. Traditional delicatessens exist in these regions; the term continental delicatessen is sometimes used to specify the European version.

United States


In the United States, a delicatessen store, or deli, is a type of business that could be described as a synthesis of a grocery store
Grocery store
A grocery store is a store that retails food. A grocer, the owner of a grocery store, stocks different kinds of foods from assorted places and cultures, and sells these "groceries" to customers. Large grocery stores that stock products other than food, such as clothing or household items, are...

 and a fast-food restaurant. The delicatessen shop offers a wider and fresher menu than those found at chain fast food restaurants, rarely employing fry machines (except for chicken) and routinely preparing sandwich
Sandwich
A sandwich is a food item, typically consisting of two or more slices of :bread with one or more fillings between them, or one slice of bread with a topping or toppings, commonly called an open sandwich. Sandwiches are a widely popular type of lunch food, typically taken to work or school, or...

es to order. They may also serve hot foods kept on a steam table, like a cafeteria. They sell cold cuts
Cold Cuts
Cold Cuts is a 2002 live album by English acoustic roots duo Show of Hands. It was their first live album to be released in a gatefold/digipack case...

 by weight and prepare party trays. Delicatessen shops vary greatly in size but are typically not as large as grocery stores. In areas with high rents for retail space, delicatessen shops are often quite small.

In addition to made-to-order sandwiches, many U.S. delicatessens offer made-to-order green salad
Salad
Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

s. Equally common is a selection of prepared pasta
Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is a dish prepared with one or more types of pasta, usually chilled, and most often tossed in a vinegar, oil or mayonnaise-based dressing. It is typically served as an appetizer or a main course....

, potato
Potato salad
Potato salad is a dish made from boiled potatoes, the versions of which vary throughout different regions and countries of the world. Although called a salad, it is generally considered a side dish, as it generally accompanies the main course....

, chicken
Chicken salad
Chicken salad is any salad that comprises chicken as a main ingredient. Other common ingredients include mayonnaise, hard-boiled egg, celery, pepper, peas and a variety of mustards....

, tuna
Tuna salad
Tuna salad is typically a blend of two main ingredients: tuna and mayonnaise or mayonnaise-substitute. Chopped hard-boiled egg, celery or relish, and onion are ingredients that are often added. Tuna salad is regularly served on top of lettuce, tomato, avocado, or some combination of these...

, shrimp
Shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

, or other variety of "wet" salads, displayed underneath the counter and bought by weight or on a sandwich. Precooked chicken (usually in roasted and fried
Fried chicken
Fried chicken is a dish consisting of chicken pieces usually from broiler chickens which have been floured or battered and then pan fried, deep fried, or pressure fried. The breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior...

 varieties), shrimp, cheese, or eggplant dishes, (possibly fried or parmigiana
Parmigiana
Parmigiana is a Southern Italian dish made with a shallow-fried sliced filling, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked. Parmigiana made with a filling of aubergine is the earliest version...

 style) are found frequently.

In order to provide an opportunity for a complete meal
Meal
A meal is an instance of eating, specifically one that takes place at a specific time and includes specific, prepared food.Meals occur primarily at homes, restaurants, and cafeterias, but may occur anywhere. Regular meals occur on a daily basis, typically several times a day...

, delicatessens also offer a wide variety of beverages
Drink
A drink, or beverage, is a liquid which is specifically prepared for human consumption. In addition to fulfilling a basic human need, beverages form part of the culture of human society.-Water:...

, usually prepackaged soft drink
Soft drink
A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...

s, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

, tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

s, milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

, etc. Potato chip
Potato chip
Potato chips are thin slices of potato that are deep fried...

s and similar products are available in some variety – some pre-packaged, others store-made and cellophane wrapped.

Alongside these primarily lunch and dinner
Dinner
Dinner is usually the name of the main meal of the day. Depending upon culture, dinner may be the second, third or fourth meal of the day. Originally, though, it referred to the first meal of the day, eaten around noon, and is still occasionally used for a noontime meal, if it is a large or main...

 products, a delicatessen might also offer a number of additional items geared toward the breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast is the first meal taken after rising from a night's sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day's work...

 eater, including pancakes, bacon
Bacon
Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon . Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months in cold air, boiled, or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating...

, sausage
Sausage
A sausage is a food usually made from ground meat , mixed with salt, herbs, and other spices, although vegetarian sausages are available. The word sausage is derived from Old French saussiche, from the Latin word salsus, meaning salted.Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made...

, waffles, omelets and baked goods (breakfast pastries
Pastry
Pastry is the name given to various kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder and/or eggs. Small cakes, tarts and other sweet baked products are called "pastries."...

, bagels, toast
Toast
Toast is bread that has been browned by exposure to radiant heat. This browning reaction is known as the Maillard reaction. Toasting warms the bread and makes it firmer, so it holds toppings more securely...

), yogurt, and warm egg "breakfast sandwiches". Newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s and small food items such as candy
Candy
Candy, specifically sugar candy, is a confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water, to which flavorings and colorants are added...

 and mints
Mint (candy)
A mint is a candy characterized by the presence of mint flavoring or real mint oil, whether it be peppermint oil, spearmint oil, or another natural or artificial source...

 are also usually available for purchase.

Delicatessen menus vary by region and ethnic diversity of the area. While urban delis rely on ethnic meats (such as pastrami
Pastrami
Pastrami , is a popular delicatessen meat usually made from beef and, traditionally in Romania, also from pork and mutton. In Israel, "Pastrama" is the term used for sliced chicken and turkey. Like corned beef, pastrami was originally created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration...

, corned beef
Corned beef
Corned beef is a type of salt-cured beef products present in many beef-eating cultures. The English term is used interchangeably in modernity to refer to three distinct types of cured beef:...

 and salami
Salami
Salami is cured sausage, fermented and air-dried meat, originating from one of a variety of animals. Historically, salami has been popular among Southern European peasants because it can be stored at room temperature for periods of up to 10 years, supplementing a possibly meager or inconsistent...

), supermarket delis usually rely more on meats that mirror the packaged meats for sale in the store (primarily ham
Ham
Ham is a cut of meat from the thigh of the hind leg of certain animals, especiallypigs. Nearly all hams sold today are fully cooked or cured.-Etymology:...

, turkey
Turkey (bird)
A turkey is a large bird in the genus Meleagris. One species, Meleagris gallopavo, commonly known as the Wild Turkey, is native to the forests of North America. The domestic turkey is a descendant of this species...

, and American-style bologna
Bologna sausage
Bologna sausage is an American sausage derived from and definitely not similar to the Italian mortadella . It is commonly called boloney, baloney or, more formally, bologna...

). One of the best examples of regional variation is in the southeast, where ham, not sold in Jewish delis, is often the most common meat sold.

Delicatessens can come from a variety of cultural traditions. In the United States, many are Jewish delicatessens, both kosher
Kashrut
Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

 and "kosher style
Kosher style
Kosher style usually refers to food that is not kosher, but is a type of food that could be produced as kosher. Generally, kosher style food does not include meat from forbidden animals, such as pigs or shellfish, and does not contain both meat and milk. In some U.S...

." As a result of this, Americans refer to those that specialise in Italian
Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arab cuisines...

 and German cuisine
German cuisine
German cuisine is a style of cooking derived from the nation of Germany. It has evolved as a national cuisine through centuries of social and political change with variations from region to region. The southern regions of Germany, including Bavaria and neighbouring Swabia, share many dishes....

 as "European Delicatessens." In Seattle, the term "deli" is often used to indicate take-out restaurants mainly serving Vietnamese bánh mì
Bánh mì
Bánh mì or bánh mỳ is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. Bread, or more specifically the baguette, was introduced by the French during its colonial period. The bread most commonly found in Vietnam is single serve and resembles a torpedo, therefore the term bánh mì is synonymous with this...

 sandwiches, particularly in Little Saigon and the University District
University District, Seattle, Washington
The University District is a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, so named because the main campus of the University of Washington is located there. The UW moved in two years after the area was annexed to Seattle, while much of the area was still clear cut forest or stump farmland...

.

The American equivalents of European style delicatessens are known as gourmet food stores.

Urban affiliation


The North American delicatessen distribution is skewed towards cities, particularly older cities that are less car-oriented, thus favoring walk-in traffic. New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 is known for its delis, and many delicatessens outside of New York call themselves "New York-style delis" to evoke images of the traditional New York City delicatessen.

List of notable delicatessens

  • 2nd Avenue Deli — a deli in Manhattan's East Village, now located on Third Avenue
  • Bens De Luxe Delicatessen & Restaurant in Montreal
  • Canter's
    Canter's
    Canter's Deli is a famous Jewish style delicatessen in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, California, near the border of West Hollywood.The Canter family originally opened up a delicatessen in Jersey City in 1924....

     — Fairfax district of Los Angeles
  • Carnegie Deli
    Carnegie Deli
    The Carnegie Deli is a restaurant located in midtown Manhattan on 7th Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets and was opened in 1937 adjacent to Carnegie Hall. Now in the third generation of owners, the Parker family's delicatessen is among the most visited restaurants of its type in the city,...

     — a deli in Midtown Manhattan near Carnegie Hall.
  • Dallmayr
    Dallmayr
    Dallmayr is a luxury delicatessen food store in Munich, Germany, dating back to the 17th century. Its reputation is comparable to Fauchon in Paris, Fortnum & Mason in London, or Meiji-ya in Tokyo. About 2.5 million people visit the main store every year...

     — a store for delicacies in Munich
  • Katz's Deli
    Katz's Deli
    Katz's Delicatessen, also known as simply Katz's of New York City, is a kosher-style delicatessen restaurant located at 205 E...

     — on the Lower East Side of Manhattan
  • Bloom's restaurant
    Bloom's restaurant
    Until its last branch closed in summer 2010, Bloom's restaurant was the longest-standing kosher restaurant in England, well-known beyond the Jewish community. Blooms was under the supervision of the London Beth Din.-History:...

     a famous 100 year old kosher Jewish deli with several locations in London
  • Schwartz's
    Schwartz's
    Schwartz's, also known as the Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen is a delicatessen established in 1928 by Reuben Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Romania. It is a landmark at 3895 Saint-Laurent Boulevard and the most famous Montreal-style smoked meat restaurant. Schwartz's often has a line extending...

     — a landmark smoked meat restaurant in Montreal
  • Nate 'n Al Delicatessen — Beverly Hills, California.
  • Zingerman's
    Zingerman's
    Zingerman's is an upscale food retailer headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. The original business and current flagship operation, Zingerman's Delicatessen, has long been a local favorite; the introduction of their award-winning web and mail-order offerings have attracted international...

     Delicatessen — Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Hello Deli — Rupert Jee
    Rupert Jee
    Rupert Jee is an American entrepreneur and television celebrity who has gained fame through frequent appearances on Late Show with David Letterman...

    's deli, often shown in Late Show with David Letterman
  • Fortnum & Mason
    Fortnum & Mason
    Fortnum & Mason, often shortened to just "Fortnum's" is a department store, situated in central London, with two other branches in Japan. Its headquarters is located at 181 Piccadilly, where it was established in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason...

     — Piccadilly, London
  • Zabar's
    Zabar's
    Zabar's is a specialty food store at 2245 Broadway and 80th Street, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, founded by Louis Zabar. It is one of the best known commercial landmarks of the neighborhood, and is known for its selection of bagels, smoked fish, olives, and cheeses...

     — on the Upper West Side of Manhattan
  • Barney Greengrass
    Barney Greengrass
    Barney Greengrass is a restaurant and appetizing store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that was started in 1908. They specialize in sturgeon, Nova Scotia salmon, and whitefish. They were the winner of the 2006 James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence....

     — the number one delicatessen in Zagat for over 10 years on the Upper West Side of Manhattan