Oct. 24, 2015, 9:15pm
Muenzinger Auditorium, CU-Boulder campus
Erik Greenberg Anjou (Producer/Director)
USA, English, Color, 92 minutes
Introduction by Joshua Pollack, owner of Rosenberg’s Delicatessen
Sponsored by Snarf’s Sandwiches
Deli Man is a documentary that looks into Jewish culture by exploring the history and cuisine of delicatessens and the people who own and operate them, deli men.
For some, delicatessen food is close to a religious experience. A tender, crumbling cut of corned beef steeped in its own juices. A full-bodied garlic dill pickle. Spicy brown mustard with mustard grains. A blintz that melts in your mouth like a creamsicle on a summer’s day. Recipes and culinary garnishes that flowed from Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Romania into late 19th and early 20th century America and soon became part of an American culinary and cultural vernacular: Deli.
The principal guide of Deli Man is the effusive and charming Ziggy Gruber, a third-generation delicatessen man, owner, and maven (as well as a Yiddish-speaking, French-trained chef) who currently operates one of the country’s top delis, Kenny and Ziggy’s in Houston, Texas. His story – augmented by the stories of iconic delis such as Katz’s Delicatessen, 2nd Ave Deli, Nate ’n’ Al, Carnegie Deli, and Stage Deli – embodies a tradition indelibly linked to its savory, nostalgic foods.
The story of the deli is the history, anecdotes, and humor that once made the local delicatessen the virtual epicenter not only of food, but also of family, laughter, and community.