A pastrami sandwich is more than just something thrown together to fill an empty belly; for true pastrami lovers, it is both an art and a tradition. As such, purists claim there is only one way to create and eat a pastrami sandwich, including what type of bread to use -- and it is not to be altered under any circumstances. A few brave souls beg to differ.
Don't Mess With a Good Thing
The traditional ingredients in a pastrami sandwich are quite simple: hand-carved pastrami, deli mustard and rye bread. The rye bread is preferably baked fresh in your own oven, or at least picked up from a corner deli that makes it on the premises. The bread is sliced thick to accommodate the pile of pastrami stacked as high as your mouth can open.
Forging New Territory
Bumping up against the edge of tradition, pastrami lovers who embrace the culinary deconstructionist movement dare to experiment with the age-old art of constructing the sandwich. By using bread other than rye, pastrami gains a whole new following of eaters who don't care for rye bread. A sturdy whole-wheat bread alters the flavor, but not the consistency. Even more adventurous foodies experiment with pan-fried gnocchi made with rye and bread flours.
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Wendy K. Leigh is a travel writer and photojournalist from Seattle. She is the Editor of Islands America, a travel website for visiting islands within the United States. She also writes about home design, food and historical architecture. Leigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Washington.
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