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Deli Man

What makes a Jew?  In the oft-quoted rabbinic source “Ethics of the Fathers,” the three pillars of Judaism are earmarked as prayer, study, and gemilut hasidim, or acts of loving kindness.  But there’s a fourth pillar – Food. 

A tender cut of corned beef steeped in its juices.  A full-bodied garlic pickle.  Spicy brown mustard with grain.  A blintz that melts in your mouth like a creamsicle on a summer’s day.   Recipes and culinary garnishes from Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Romania that flowed in to late 19th and early 20th century America and soon became part of an American culinary and cultural vernacular – Deli…

The center and principal guide of Deli Man, the third in a trilogy of documentaries by Erik Greenberg Anjou, will be the effusive and charming Ziggy Gruber, a third-generation delicatessen man, owner and maven, as well as Yiddish-speaking French-trained chef, who currently operates one of the country’s most popular, and delicious delis, Kenney and Ziggy’s in Houston.  ‘Texas?’ you ask.  Shalom, y’all.