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Takeout Spotlight: The Tasty History of Pastrami

As much as we love roast beef at Bill & Bob’s Famous Roast Beef, we know it’s not the only great sandwich out there. There are plenty of other delicious sandwich options, and we serve quite a few of them at our restaurants. So if you’re in need of a good sandwich, but you want to branch out from roast beef, why not go for pastrami? It’s long been a classic takeout choice and a staple of deli counters everywhere, and there’s no mystery as to why.


In this article, we’re going to look into the history of this favorite takeout option.


It goes back to the Ottoman Empire.

The origins of many foods can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, and pastrami is one of them. At its height, the Ottoman Empire encompassed modern-day Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and areas of other nearby countries. We get the word “pastrami” from the Turkish word pastirma, which means “pressed meat.” That refers to a method of preserving meat, usually beef, by drying and curing it with a mixture of spices and seasonings, including salt, garlic, and aromatic herbs. This preservation method allowed people to store the meat without the need for refrigeration, which is ideal for a nomadic lifestyle.


It came to America with Jewish immigrants.

Many of our favorite and traditional foods in the United States came here with the influx of European immigrants in the 19th century. By this time, smoked meats—including pastrami—had become an important part of the culinary tradition of Eastern European Jews. The Jewish immigrants primarily settled in New York City, where they set up delis and served their traditional foods. Pastrami was a flavorful and affordable meat, so it quickly became popular with other immigrant communities in the city.


Get easy and tasty takeout from Bill & Bob’s!

Pastrami continues to be popular today, and it’s a staple of deli counters and takeout places everywhere. The marinade and spice rub give pastrami its unique flavor, and the process of smoking and steaming the meat is what achieves its tender texture. At Bill & Bob’s Famous Roast Beef, we’re all about tradition, and pastrami certainly fits the bill!


Visit one of our three locations to try our delicious sandwiches! We’re open late, so you can get takeout whenever you’re hungry.