Hiding The Salamis

For the past 119 years (yes, 119, that’s no typo) Katz’s Delicatessen on Houston Street in New York has been hanging salamis on its walls. The dried, aged salamis have been on display, hanging on racks behind the counters and in the big front window since before the turns of the century — that’s the turn from the 1800s to the 1900s, and the turn from the 1900s to the 2000’s.

Not a single person has become ill, nor has a complaint been lodged with Katz’s or with the NYC Dept. of Health over a salami, or over the fact that the sealed (yes, there’s a thin paper wrapping around the hanging salamis, featuring Katz’s logo and the requisite info on all food-for-sale items) salamis have been hanging in the deli for al these years. But some enterprising public servant armed with power and authority forced Katz’s to take down hundreds of salamis, declaring them a health hazard. Katz’s was not only forbidden to sell the items, but the staff had to watch as the chlorine was poured over all the salamis –by the Health Department!– in order to destroy them…

from Dean Landsman

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