United States Smoked Meat
I have always wondered why Montreal Smoked Meat cannot or is not duplicated in the U.S...this might be a stupid question but why??? I could ask the same for the bagels; but years ago the rumour had it the water is different. Why the Smoked Meat?
Montreal smoked meat has, in fact, been "replicated" in some parts of the US. Diners Drive-ins and Dives has featured a few restos in places ranging from LA to KC, usually all run by ex-Montrealers, who've gone and re-created their own version of Montreal smoked meat using the same cut of brisket, brining/curing, smoking and spicing methods popular here. According to the show these restos have even developed popular followings in their area from folks who've never been to Montreal.
Where is "here"?
I once commented that I found Katz's pastrami somewhat similar to Schwartz smoked meat. A poster was bowled over and replied that MSM packs an initial clove-y coriander POW to the palate and that NY pastrami is more subtle.
I never really thought of it that way...I still find them somewhat similar...
I like to link a coupla stories, one from The Atlantic, one from Gourmet, where the authors prefer MSM over NY pastrami...
While visiting Manhattan, the schlep to Brooklyn simply to try a MSM never seemed worth it. They opened Mile End Sandwich in NOHO, which I do plan on trying next time in town...
Firstly the best smoked meat I have had in the last ten years was from the kosher deli count at the Jewel Osco on Howard in Chicago it is called Roumanian Pastrami and has the same fat to lean ratio as the best Montreal smoke meat meaning most people fear touching it will give them a coronary. There is some excellent smoked meat here in the L'Estrie where some of the heritage breed cattle produce meat that is suitable for good smoked meat.
Just like tomatoes cattle and chickens are from breeds that look good with taste being of little importance. Take for instance the Quebec cow an all purpose breed bred for our environment which is on the verge of extinction too small or the wonderful local breeds of chicken which can't compete with Rock Cornish crosses for weight gain and white to dark meat ratio but actually taste like chicken.
As to the bagel question Canadian wheat has a higher protein content (gluten) and good high protein American bread flour (like King Arthur) is very expensive..
Like so much in life the difference between good and great is that great doesn't lend itself to corporate scale production.
Check out the tasting center in downtown Newport VT to see what small scale food producers can do or check out La Station Frommagerie in Compton Quebec.