The book's publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, outlines the rationale for Sax's gastronomic adventure:
As a journalist and life-long deli obsessive, David Sax was understandably alarmed by the state of Jewish delicatessen. A cuisine that had once thrived as the very center of Jewish life had become endangered by assimilation, homogenization, and health food trends. He watched in dismay as one beloved deli after another—one institution after another—shuttered, only to be reopened as some bland chain-restaurant laying claim to the very culture it just paved over. And so David set out on a journey across the United States and around the world in search of authentic delicatessen. Was it still possible to Save the Deli? Join David as he investigates everything deli-- its history, its diaspora, its next generation. He tells about the food itself—how it’s made, who makes it best, and where to go for particular dishes. And, ultimately, he finds is hope-- deli newly and lovingly made in places like Boulder, traditions maintained in Montreal, and iconic institutions like the 2nd Avenue Deli resurrected in New York.Sax has a web site dedicated to the book and his Save the Deli cause, and has placed a 2 minute video trailer for the book on YouTube. Click below to see it.