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

A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Tue Jan 15 17:30:29 UTC 2002

On Tue, 15 Jan 2002, Laurence Horn wrote:
> 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
> relation...

FWIW, Redhouse Turkish (Ottoman Turkish) Dictionary has "basdIrma" (back
[i]) "vulg. pasdIrma, meat flavored with spices and garlic and cured under
pressure" which makes sense, as the root bas- = "press". Unfortunately I
won't have access to a Turkish dictionary that has some historical
information and usage until I'm on the main campus tomorrow.

maberry at

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