Dec 9, 2016

Wordology, Delicatessen

Most of us are familiar with the word Deli, which conjures up sliced sausage and cheese piled high on rolls and ordered at the counter. The term also brings to mind baguettes and camembert, or olives and prosciutto. The term deli comes from delicatessen shops, which came from the German 'Delikatesse'.

The shops called delicatessens were first opened in New York and London by German proprietors, such as Lingner’s Delicatessen on London's Old Compton Road in Soho, recorded in 1877.

The German word has its roots in Latin “delicatus” and the French word “délicatesse”, but the French term for a fine foods shop is actually “une épicerie fine”.