The Next Plant Based Trend Reaches For The Jewish Deli

Food & Drink

Seriously? I grew up going to the Lower East Side of New York with my parents every Sunday for most of my childhood.

It was Katz’s for a sandwich. Henri’s – just a couple of doors away for kosher deli and deli salads to bring home; occasionally Rappaport’s or Ratner’s for an all dairy meat-free vegan meal.

So when I saw this announcement my ears perked up.

Impossible Foods is launching Impossible Pork and attempting to get a kosher certification.

One of this year’s trends appears to be focused around vegan Jewish delis – yes, they are a thing. Vegan Jewish delis have been sprouting up everywhere — from Portland, Oregon with the vegan Jewish deli Ben & Esther’s to Rochester, New York where Rob Nipe, opened Grass Fed, a vegan butcher shop and deli in Rochester offering “plant-based protein for the people.” On the menu, you’ll find vegan chopped liver and pastrami, as well as beer brats, Korean gochujang sausage, and mushroom bulgogi. In Cleveland, Larder run by Jeremy Umansky a two-time James Beard nominee for Best includes meats, fish and a variety of vegan offerings including a vegan pastrami made from mushrooms .

Unreal Deli, is a plant-based deli-meat company, selling their foods both online direct to consumers and through retailers including Kroger

, Publix, Whole Foods, ShopRite, Wegmans and restaurants across the nation. Their assortment includes all-plant based Roasted Turkey, Steak Slices and Corn’d Beef that is made from ingredients including beets, tomatoes and chickpeas. In all fairness, I have not taste tested the Corn’d Beef – but it is on my list in order to compare to one of my childhood favorites (that I have eliminated from my diet for at least 20 years for all the reasons you would imagine).

An online search reveals a number of carrot “lox” recipes you can make at home and Sophie’s Kitchen brand of plant-based seafood alternative made from Konjac root. Sophie’s has a complete line of plant based shrimp, crab cakes, fish fillets and salmon burgers.

Over 110 years ago the Vegetarian Hotel opened in the Catskills. The hotel included 100 rooms across 100 acres of land and included radishes and other vegetables from the garden, freshly baked pumpernickel and challah, and vegetarian chopped liver — long before it became trendy on social media. There were salads (beet salad, tahini-eggplant salad), soups ranging from barley bean to millet, and entrées such as red-kidney-bean stew and sweet-potato kugel.

While many flock to the ‘new’ plant based offerings – let’s not forget that often, what’s old is new again.

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