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Perhaps there should be more description of how the meat is prepared.

Pastrami etymology[edit]

Do the Turks and Romanians have some issue here? Why are the etymologies treated as if theyu were two utterly separate "theories"? --Wetman 07:29, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

There is one etymology here, but it may be disputed or may have been disputed. I don't think most Romanians or most Turks will raise a ruckus over the etymology of pastrami. The official etymological dictionary of the Romanian language, the Dicţionarul explicativ al limbii române, under the auspices of the Romanian Academy, derives the Romanian word pastramă from Turkish pastirma ([1]). However, I have an American Heritage Dictionary from 1969 that derives English pastrami like this: "Yiddish, from Romanian pastramă, from păstra, 'to preserve' ". So it may not be the Romanians disputing the etymology :) Alexander 007 22:02, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Comment: the DEX is a biased reference, for political reasons. It was created during the communist era, during times when the regime was trying to quell all nationalistic views, in favour of what the called "the new man". The general idea was that all Romanian words originated from one language or another, in an attempt to emphasise the idea that Romanians were the product of a "melting pot". Aav
No. The general idea was not in any way that "all Romanians words originated from one language or another", and in fact that is a bizarre charge to make against the DEX; aside from the words that came from Latin, the DEX indicates many that are of unknown origin, as well as loanwords. And while I agree very much that the DEX is often overly "cautious" with its etymologies, in this case, the DEX may well be right. Alexander 007 03:22, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
BTW, my 1986 American Heritage Dictionary has the same pastrami etymology as the one from '69. Alexander 007 22:32, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
That only means that it simply wasn't revised. Different editions are not written from scratch. Aav
Who said they were written from "scratch", and who was even talking about how the American Heritage Dictionary composes its editions? I stated that the 1969 edition and an edition from 1986 both derive pastrami from Romanian, but don't mention Turkish. However, the Turkish etymology appears quite likely. Alexander 007 03:18, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm inclined to accept the derivation from the Turkish word. I'd long wondered whether the Turkish and the Armenian words noted were related to "pastrami." It would seem more likely that Romanians would borrow a word from their one-time Turkish overlords than that the word would migrate from Romanian to Turkish and then on to Armenian and other languages and peoples not located near the Romanians... though that's obviously by no means impossible. If the derivation is disputed in good faith, though, why *not* have the article simply note the disagreement, setting forth the variant theories? (If one disputes the bona fides of those who dispute the matter, that would be another matter... but... over pastrami?) Xenophon777 12:59, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Different but related issue: "The modified “pastrami” spelling was probably introduced in imitation of the American English salami." - Not necessarily. "Pastrami" could indeed stem directly from Romanian "Pastramă". The pronunciation of the letter "ă" is relatively close to English "e". Best, Ulrich — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Slick pastrami[edit]

What is responsible for the "oil slick" type of colorful shine that is often seen on pastrami?

I'm not sure what causes it, but it isn't an artifact of the pastrami-making process, I've seen the exact same optical effect on brisket & corned beef, which are the same general part of the late cow. It also shows up on low-grade beef [it was pretty common to see it in my military days, and we got meat that was rejected by prisons near the ports we pulled in to] A similar effect occurs on fresh-cut tuna, and it is caused by tiny drops of fluid exuding from the flesh. I don't think that would happen with pastrami/corned beef/brisket - wrong texture/density. BigFatDave 20:45, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Salt solubilises the salt-soluble proteins in the muscle. This results in the formation of a matrix that binds the meat particles together, retains water and acts as an emulsifier (basically it forms a film on the surface of the meat, containing mostly water, salt and some proteins). User:aav

Popular culture section[edit]

This section needs to go. It consists merely of two bare-mention pieces of trivia, neither of which references a work that is substantially about pastrami. I have made the change, but it has been reverted twice. I would like to solicit further opinions. --Eyrian 00:00, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

It should stay. I find this trivia section interesting (see Wikipedia:Trivia) and it's not the only article that has one. Mentatus 15:13, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
By the very same document you just cited, it should not stay. WP:TRIVIA also points out that things needs to be important. And neither of these bare-mention references are. As a thought experiment, what if somebody inserted a hundred different times pastrami was mentioned in different popular media. Should all of those stay? Why or why not? If they are trimmed, what criteria would be used? Note that I wouldn't do that, as it's a violation of WP:POINT, but the implications should be considered.--Eyrian 18:52, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
WP:TRIVIA is not policy. Wikipedia is not a indiscriminate collection of information is policy. The trivia/popular culture section should go. hateless 23:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Some mention of The Hat should go here. --evrik (talk) 18:40, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Pork for Pastrami?[edit]

It is a Jewish food, so it would break the Kosher Laws to use pork, and there is no citation when pork being used is mentioned.

That caught my eye, too. This portion of the article does state that "Jewish" and American pastrami is generally made from beef (except where it's made from turkey), but the mentions of pork seem to pertain primarily to Romanian pastrami... uncited, as noted in the comment above. (I would assume that the Jewish community of Romania has been making presumably kosher pastrami for a long, long time...) Since the language is uncited, I guess it could go. If one were a hair less bold, and willing to compromise on this (by the way, the pork language in the article was not put in there by me), then perhaps the following language could be substituted for that entire paragraph:
Unlike kosher pastrami, which is generally a beef product, non-kosher varieties are also produced, which may be made using pork, in addition to mutton or beef.
Of course, I don't have cites, either. Perhaps someone could then provide cites to more specific varieties using pork, mutton, etc. Xenophon777 14:08, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I removed the reference that is made from pig in the US and Canada, this is not true! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

The 'Preparation' section of the article proper mentions that the most common meat used for pastrami is beef, but there is no mention of what other meats are used. I know for sure that non-kosher uses pork, but what meats are used regionally? Dasai Montale (talk) 20:31, 9 December 2007 (UTC)


I think it's unlikely that the material here is taken from the listed website. Looking over revisions [2] and [3] shows the evolutionary way the text took shape on the wiki. Looking over other articles on that site, it seems far more probable that the listed site took the text from Wikipedia, rather than the other way around. --Eyrian 14:27, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. It seems like the articles have similarities but aren't the same at all. There was no reason to mark this article as a copyvio. - Stick Fig 07:47, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
The listed page also specifically states "From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection" and "text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License". So, no, not a copyvio. Nchaimov 13:23, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Pastrami is best made as close to the old fashion way as possible. Mass production ruins the flavor of the beef. It is a long and more expensive process, but you are buying a quality product.

Edits of May 23, 2009[edit]

Edits are in good faith streamlining article in line with a general encyclopedia, not a culinary encyclopedia or one on the etymology of food terms and their history. Indeed, some of each is appropriate, and has been retained.Wikiuser100 (talk) 01:27, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Of course these are good faith edits: nobody contests this fact. However, pastrami is a food article and it is part of the Wikipedia Food and Drink Project. As such it automatically leans much more toward culinary than general. As to etymology, the relevant references had to be inserted over time to stop repeated attempts to vandalize and distort the sources of the word: please check the edit history. I would appreciate it if you could again review your edits, especially the deletions of sources and sourced content, and restore additional parts that do not clash too much with your streamlining approach. Thank you. --Zlerman (talk) 01:42, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Arab origins[edit]

I agree that the etymology first originated from Turkey, they took that, among many other words and inventions, from the Arabs/Armenians whose lands they conquered during the Ottoman empire. The practice of drying meat in sausages like that was used hundereds of years prior in Arab countries - especially Iraq/Syria - who in turn took that practice from their older semetic ancestors in the region. I have a few Arabic texts siting that, specifically to "Basturma"/Pastrami, and I'm now just working on translating them as fully as possible to upload here. TC all, and please send a messgae to my user area rather than here if it's OK so I can get a notification and get back to you ASAP. TC all. Pink Princess (talk) 19:52, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

a rendering issue[edit]

Here's an oddity: the initial pe of Yiddish: פּאַסטראָמע‎ doesn't show up on my screen, except in a history view. That is: I tried to find when some vandal might have deleted it, but then saw that in the source file it's still there; I copied it from there to paste here, and now it's invisible in my edit-box (and in preview). I'm using Firefox 3.5.5 on MacOS 10.5. —Tamfang (talk) 05:55, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I also see an aleph at the beginning of the word, and was going to ask if that should be changed to a pe.Markjoseph125 (talk) 18:56, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Famous pastrami joints[edit]

Since this originated in NYC, shouldn't there be some famous pastrami joints listed, etc. ? (talk) 07:17, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Possibly, but the article seems to insist that "pastrami" is this universal thing; i get that the Turks probably invented it, but -- isnt "pastrami" (as opposed to pastrma (sic), and so on) basically, you know, the smoked and spiced beef brisket as served in the USA and Canada, mainly? (Yeah, they call it smoked meat. Same difference!  :D) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I disagree. Pastrami's been around the UK for generations.

I have added "famous" joints to other articles and was told that Wikipedia is not a business directory. Clearly the same should be for this article. The interesting points here are the origin, history and various uses around the world. --Danibo77 (talk) 11:38, 30 June 2012 (UTC)


For a subject that's not in any way unique to the USA, this article is hugely US-centric. I'm not familiar with the relevant wiki policies - is wikipedia supposed to be a USA encyclopedia, or international? Ride the Hurricane (talk) 12:04, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Quite a lot of editors are from the US and so that ends up skewing the take on the subject. If you want it to be more global, quite bitching about US centrism and add something on your country. (talk) 13:35, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
The name pastrami is hugely connected with New York Jewish culture. The food concept has been exported around the world, and the ancestor forms are widepread under related names, but it's preposterous to suggest that an article about pastrami shouldn't have a US focus. I'm a non Jewish Brit BTW. --Ef80 (talk) 18:04, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Appearances in the Media[edit]

Some guy deleted my contribution from the Seinfeld epsiode. Seinfeld was a large part of pop culture and i think the reference is relevant and adds more to the article. Please don't delete it. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Unctuousness (talkcontribs) 04:24, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

It is ironic that you say "reference" since all you have done is add unreferenced opinions to a number of articles. Here, you made a claim without citing the particular episode with an inline cite, as is expected in this encyclopedia. Edison (talk) 04:29, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Ok but what do i do? I don't think there is any dispute that this is a factual statement. I don't do the internet as good as you i guess but i thought it adds to the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Unctuousness (talkcontribs) 04:31, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

If you cannot cite a reliable source for something you think happened in some unidentified episode of a TV show, then you should not add your recollection to the article. Even if it was in some episode, it might not belong in the article. Also, sign your posts on talk pages by adding four tildes, like ~~~~ Edison (talk) 04:35, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Ok i put in some info about the episode it has a wikipedian page ==== — Preceding unsigned comment added by Unctuousness (talkcontribs) 04:38, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

This does not belong in the article. It is inappropriate and unencyclopedic, and gives undue weight, to stick in every mention of some food in a movie, TV episode, or story, in the article about the food. Edison (talk) 04:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result was not merge. -- JFH (talk) 20:18, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

I suggest merging the content of the article Pastramă here. Much of the text of that article is already duplicated here. I can't see a reason for having two separate articles on what is essentially the same meat product in two different countries. Yunshui  08:50, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

  • respectfully oppose; better to treat it as a subarticle of the topic. ham & proscuitto are the same meat, but they merit separate articles. Pastramă appears to be the source/original/"ancestral" version of the foodstuff. It looks rather different from what i see in the coldcut refrigerators of my supermarket. i think that it merits a page of its own. more importantly, i don't think we can do it justice by jamming in it as a subsection here. both articles have plenty of room for expansion, & once a topic is merged it often tends to remain "unexpanded", while people seem willing to add to a smaller, more specific article. Lx 121 (talk) 10:28, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Whilst that article does duplicate much of a subsection. It is about the source version. That article could do with expansion rather than merging. Indeed this article has much room for expansion too. Merging in my opinion, does neither article justice, and loses the opportunity to detail the source version of the pastrami fully. Alicephilippa (talk) 12:28, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Advertising in the article[edit]

I removed promotional references to two restaurant businesses; California Burger, and Crown Burger.Everiverever (talk) 11:21, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

WP:OR tag to preparation section[edit]

Placed this tag specifically in relation to the description of the typical North American & Los Angeles versions of pastrami sandwiches. While I anecdotally know the Southern California description to be more or less true, it'd be great to back this up with some solid sourcing to establish that this variant is significant for inclusion in the article... Boogerpatrol (talk) 17:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)


The article claims, based on a book about Armenian food lore, that some Greeks say that the word 'pastourma' comes from a medieval Greek word paston or pastron. I have tried to find these words (or this etymology) in reliable sources, such as modern and classical Greek dictionaries, and have not succeeded. In particular, the Babiniotis and Andriotis dictionaries, which are usually very good about identifying reborrowings/αντιδάνεια, do not mention these in the etymologies of παστρουμά. Do we have any good sources for this, or is this in the domain of folklore? --Macrakis (talk) 18:53, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

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