The Latest Plant-Based Food Trend

The Lempert Report
March 08, 2022

On the Bullseye we explore the latest plant-based food trend. The Jewish Deli.

Seriously? Hey, I grew up going to the lower east side every Sunday for, what I think was most of my childhood. It was Katz’s for a sandwich. Heni’s – just a couple of doors away for deli and deli salads to bring home and occasionally Rappaports or Ratners for a kosher meat free vegan meal. So when I saw this story my ears perked up. Impossible Foods tried to launch Impossible Pork and get a kosher certification. It appears that vegan Jewish delis are a thing. Vegan Jewish delis have been sprouting up everywhere — from Portland, Oregon with the vegan Jewish deli Ben & Esther's to Rochester, New York where Rob Nipe, opened Grass Fed, a vegan butcher shop and deli in Rochester offering "plant-based protein for the people." On the menu, you'll find vegan chopped liver and pastrami, as well as beer brats, Korean gochujang sausage, and mushroom bulgogi to Larder run by Jeremy Umansky a 2020 James Bear nominee for Best Chef who runs a deli but includes a bunch of vegan offerings including a vegan pastrami made from mushrooms.

Unreal Deli, a plant-based deli-meat company, just expanded its "corn'd beef" to Publix. There is carrot "lox," and beet-based Rueben sandwiches. Let’s go back over 100 year to the Vegetarian Hotel opened in the Catskills in the 1910s which was 100 rooms across 100 acres of land and included radishes and other vegetables from the garden, freshly baked pumpernickel and challah, and vegetarian chopped liver — long before it became trendy on social media. There were salads (beet salad, tahini-eggplant salad), soups ranging from barley bean to millet, and entrées such as red-kidney-bean stew and sweet-potato kugel. What’s old is new again.

And be sure you join us along with The Food Institute at the Protein & Plan Evolution Virtual Conference June 1-3 as for the first time ever we bring both sides of protein to the table and discuss the future. Is it flexitarian? Join us at