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The NYC Jewish Delicatessen: A Dying Breed's Secrets to Survival (Video)

05/21/2010 08:47 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

cross posted from foodcurated.com

More than just "Jewish Penicillin"...

Last week, NYC food writer Joe DiStefano of Edible Queens asked if I'd be interested in telling an intimate story about the beauty of tradition in food...classic Jewish delicatessen food. He hand-picked this deli for me because it has quite a reputation - and not just in Queens. Some say, like author Avery Corman, they produce the best pastrami sandwich around... So, I agreed to dig a little deeper with my video camera and see for myself what greatness not only looks like, but tastes like.

Meet Jay Parker, owner of Ben's Best Delicatessen, a 3rd generation deli owner in Rego Park, Queens - and one of the last remaining Kosher delis in New York City. Jay took over the family business from his father, Ben, over 30 years ago knowing that the key to success and longevity was leaving his 100+ year old family recipes unchanged.

Enjoy this feel-good peek into the life of a passionate deli operator. The food looks so good, you can almost taste the hot pastrami and corned beef being shaved off the meat slicer...

To try Jay's family recipes for yourself, you can visit: bensbest.com. He airships across the country, but believe me, his cured "overstuffed" sandwich meats and homemade dishes are best eaten right in the deli.

Take my advice and don't leave without trying some of his traditional, non-sandwich faves too: The Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls, Chopped Liver, Kosher Hot Dog w/Sauerkraut, Chicken Fricassee, Beef Borscht and Stuffed Cabbage.

Thanks for watching food. curated. Happy eating!