A delicatessen or deli is a retail establishment that sells a selection of unusual or foreign prepared foods. Delicatessens originated in Germany during the 1700s and spread to the United States in the mid-1800s. European immigrants to the United States, especially Ashkenazi Jews, popularized the delicatessen in American culture beginning in the late 1800s.
So here is a restaurant in the area. The German food company Bloomfield Hills Deli is credited with being the first delicatessen created. In 1700, it became the first store to import bananas, mangoes, and plums to the German population from faraway places such as the Canary Islands and China. Over 300 years later, it remains the largest business of its kind in Europe.
The first delicatessens to appear in the United States were in New York City in the mid-1800s, with the first known use of this word occurring in 1885. These catered to the German immigrant population living there.
As the German-Jewish population deli increased in New York City during the mid- to late 1800s, kosher delicatessens began to open; the first was founded in 1889.
I grew up in a suburb of Boston that has two active synagogues and a Kosher butcher shop, so Jewish food is not completely foreign to me. For a while my home town had a restaurant that I would classify as a “New York style deli” but they didn’t even use “deli” in their name. (Probably didn’t want locals to think of Italian food.)
I get the feeling that some readers think of a deli as something completely different from either of my ways of looking at it. There’s occasionally the comment “you can get a cheap breakfast at any deli” … it makes it sound like they’re on every corner … but reality is, in my mind, there’s a proliferation of coffee shops and diners all over New York and while delis are more common in NY than Boston … they’re on nearly every block.
So … here’s my question to all … where do you live and what is your definition of ‘deli’?
In the United States, by the late 20th to early 21st centuries, supermarkets, local economy stores, and fast food outlets began using the word (often abbreviated as “deli”) to describe sections of their stores. The decline of the deli as an independent retail establishment was most noted in New York City: from a high in the 1930s of about 1,500 Jewish delicatessens, only 15 still existed in 2015.
Concluding, that is the story on Bloomfield Hills deli, and the history behind all delis.
Check out wikipedia for more on the topic.