The Jewish Deli Revival: Buying and Selling American Jewish Nostalgia

October 8, 2018

a closeup of matzoh ball soup garnished with green onions

The Jewish deli holds a special place in the American culinary landscape at large, but is especially important for American Jews interacting with their community and culture. The John & Marcia Goldman Professor of American Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University, Rachel B. Gross, Ph.D., will discuss the evolving role of the traditional deli for Jewish Americans on November 26, 2018 at 6 p.m. in Room 1107 of the Academic Learning Commons.

In her lecture, “The Jewish Deli Revival: Buying and Selling American Jewish Nostalgia,” Gross will discuss not only the historic prominence of the deli but the significance of its resurgence and adaptation in the 21st century.

Today, classic deli foods such as kugel and matzah ball soup and are reimagined for the current culinary sensibility through an emphasis on sustainability and local ingredient sourcing. This revitalization demonstrates the deli’s continued importance as a tool for representing authentic Jewish pasts, building community today, and proliferating values in the future.