Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Tablet Magazine: Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army

An excerpt from Pastrami on Rye via Tablet Magazine.

While the war exposed Jews to other types of food, it also provided opportunities for non-Jews to learn about Jewish food. Lieutenant Colonel Harold Dorfman realized how much he missed delicatessen food when he served as navigator in a B-24 bomber on September 12, 1944. As the plane approached its target, the submarine pens of northern Germany, the pilot was ordered to inquire and record what was in each crew member’s mind. Each responded, in turn, that he was thinking about his family back home—each, that is, except for Dorfman, who said that he was consumed with a desire for a hot pastrami sandwich. The response from the pilot: “How do you spell pastrami?” The crew endured an eight-hour attack by enemy gunfire by laughing and joking about the episode. But to actually taste the unfamiliar delicacy, most had to wait until they arrived in New York eight months later on their way back to Fort Dix.

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