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behind the mythical “delicatessen”, the history of immigration to America

“Delicatessen”, more commonly called “delis”, there are all kinds in New York. From tiny grocery stores to the legendary Katz’s, they partially represent the history of New York and its immigration. Self by Katz it’s better known, it’s because of a movie, When Harry meets Sally, dating back to 1989.

In this romantic comedy starring Billy Cristal and Meg Ryan, the two both have dinner at Katz’s where they talk about their sex lives. A cult scene where Meg Ryan simulates an anthology orgasm.

These delicatessens, restaurants and caterers are inseparable from New York. “Delicatessen” is a German word meaning “delicacy”, the delicious things you eat. These Jewish delicacies appeared in the 1880s, when observant Jews arrived from Eastern Europe. In the early 20th century, the Lower East Side was mostly home to newly immigrated families. A close-knit and united people. And Katz’s becomes the go-to place for sausage and beans.

And over the years, the term “delis” has been used to describe restaurants that sell corned beef and pastrami sandwiches.

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