The Delicatessen has a rich history rooted in European culture. Although the ‘Deli’ as we commonly know it is often associated with the USA or Italy, these delicatessens originated in Germany, with the first opening in the year 1500 which still stands today. There have long-been fine-food stores throughout Europe providing a high-end offering – selling delicacies.
In Europe delicatessens have always typically sold mostly high-quality meats and cheeses, high-calibre locally produced and important ingredients. In France, a delicatessen will be packed floor to ceiling with the finest artisanal, traditional, and unusual edibles, as well as a large selection of wine. Typically, almost all the products will be from France, as the focus is generally on local sourcing, however there are often carefully selected specialities from neighbouring regions that are not often found in local stores. Although France is more commonly known for the sweet-smelling brasseries and boulangeries that charmingly decorate the streets of Paris and beyond, the deli has always had a presence.
Perhaps a little more hidden away, the deli has always been available to those willing to seek out fine ingredients, or for the lucky ones that stumble upon one and find a hall of treasures within. The French deli is a true taste sensation, always a place to discover the unique and the rare, normally stocking mostly artisanal products that boast a rich heritage and depth of flavour.
Primarily, a delicatessen is a place to find unique and surprising offerings to enjoy and to share. The word ‘Delicatessen’ is after all taken from the French ‘delicatesse’, which means delicious things,’ so when all is said and done, it truly is all in the name