Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Jewish-Style Deli Without Nitrates-Nitrites

I'm sensitive to nitrates or nitrites -- not sure which one, but they generally go together. All the processed cured meats such as ham, bacon and salami you buy in regular supermarkets have them. I think they're not good for anyone, but in my case I would get cranky and mean every time I had a Hebrew National salami sandwich. Not what I was looking for. An alternative medical practicioner I go to told me my body doesn't want these substances, and I believe her.

I do some of my shopping at Whole Foods, and they carry a variety of nitrate-nitrite-free products, but I hadn't found any to replace my Jewish-style deli products until recently. Wellshire Farms makes a hot dog and salami that come pretty close to the taste I'm looking for. They also make corned beef and pastrami, but those are not carried at my store so I haven't tried them yet. The specific products I like are: The Premium Beef Frank and Sliced Old Fashioned Deli Style Beef Salami.

I have been hankering for Jewish salami for so long it was a revelation to taste it again! Wellshire also makes the Primo line of Italian deli meats and they are very good.

When we were kids, my friend Carl's mom introduced me to the joys of fried salami sandwiches. It's simple: slice the salami, fry it until it crisps up a bit, and have it on bread with some mustard.

I take this a step further and make open-faced fried salami Reubens. Spread some Russian or Thousand Island dressing on your bread, cover with fried salami, cover that with sauerkraut and more dressing. I sometimes cover that with thinly sliced tomatoes. Cover all with thin swiss cheese and put under the broiler (I use a toaster oven) until the cheese starts to brown. Eat with fork and knife.