There are many great deli meats, but in the United States, it is the Jewish Deli varieties that sit at the top of the throne. These delis tend to specialize in smoked or cured meats including Corned Beef, Pastrami, or Brisket, though other styles also abound. A recent challenger to the playing field is coming out of French Canada, in the form of Montreal Smoked Meat, which is similar to the other major deli sandwiches and should be investigated at your first opportunity.
Pastrami is one of the great inventions of humanity. First, you take a fine brisket, and brine it with spices for anywhere between a few days and several weeks. This process creates a well known meat known more commonly as, “corned beef”. Once you have obtained said corned beef, you proceed to place it in a smoker for a day, and then a steamer before it is served piping hot. The process, while rigorous and time consuming, is immensely worthwhile. The resulting meat is so tender and delicious, that people will travel for hundreds of miles for an excellent pastrami sandwich. Pastrami is often served on dark rye bread, with nothing else. It can be acceptable to add mustard for a slight flavoring, but this decision is not one to be taken lightly.