Pastrami (1831?);YAC & RAC; Heronner; Gen. Tso

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 15 02:09:12 UTC 2002

At 9:28 AM +0000 1/15/02, Jonathon Green wrote:
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <Bapopik at AOL.COM>
>Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2002 12:46 AM
>Subject: Pastrami (1831?);YAC & RAC; Heronner; Gen. Tso
>>  PASTRAMI (1831?)
>>     This continues a discussion of "pastrami."  David Shulman discussed it
>on 60 MINUTES II last year.  I have two new items.
>>     For whatever it's worth, this is from JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN BAGDAD
>DURING THE YEARS 1830 AND 1831 (James Nisbet, London, 1832) by Anthony N.
>Groves, pg. 250 (journal entry dated 12 September 1831):
>>     When dear Mr. Pfander left us, we made him some sausages, called in
>this country _pastourma_; he, however, took but a few, and the rest remained
>with us, and served us both during the plague....
>If this has already been noted, apologies. However: might this _pastourma_
>not, given the geography, more likely be some local version of the Greek
>(and I think Turkish) _bastourma_ (sp.?) which is a dry lamb (beef?)
>sausage, I believe with red wine as an ingredient. Despite my ignorance as
>to the detail of the ingredients I've often bought them from Greek delis in
>London. They have nothing, other than being meat-based and flavoursome (and
>eaten without the need for further cooking), in common with pastrami.
>Jonathon Green

recall our thread on this in the last century, including my own supposition:

Date:         Sun, 27 Jun 1999 12:10:13 -0400
From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Subject:      Re: "pastrami"

At 4:17 AM -0400 6/27/99, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
>     David Shulman told me today that he found a "pastromi" citation from
>1927.  As everyone knows, "pastrami" is our greatest etymological mystery
>since the Reuben sandwich and the Caesar salad.

I suppose it might be  my own local folk etymology, but I've wondered about
the relation (if any) between pastrami and the Turkish dried meat delicacy
known as pastIrmI (back [i]).  Given the long Ottoman occupation of the
relevant parts of Eastern Europe, home of Romanian Jews and others, it's
not inconceivable (even if it's probably mistaken) to posit such a

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