Step into a foreign land without a passport: Owings Mills, MD’s Euro Deli [classic article]

In an unassuming little strip mall on Reisterstown Road — along with their sister store, Euro Liquors — you’ll find Euro Deli. It’s owned by Russians, but you’ll also find food and beverages from Ukraine, Poland, Israel, as well as a host of Baltic and Slavic nations. Some things are made in Brooklyn, but you’ll never find them at your local grocery store. You’ll find that many of the signs are in Syrillic and many of the counter workers speak mostly Russian. You have to just be adventurous!

They have a wide selection of smoked fish and smoked meats — even bear salami. What’s bear salami like? It’s very, very strong, peppery, and gamy. I served it to some big hunters, and they pronounced it the same. So, are you “game”? You’ll be fascinated by the variety of more traditional salamis, each made according to a recipe indigenous to its own small town or former nation-state. Old Kiev salami is irresistable, Gypsy salami is tasty but more garlicky, Czar salami is ham-like, and Jewish salami takes me back to childhood.

There is a nice — but not as far-reaching — selection of European cheeses.

You’ll also find waters from Russia and the Ukraine. I have given family members gifts of the water from Mirgorod — from a spring that started operation just before my grandfather left Mirgorod for the US at the turn of the last century.

They carry lots and lots of odd pops. Some are made of bread, others from tarragon, and still others, from who knows what. It’s amusing to see the pictures of Czar Nicholas, Rasputin, various monks on the bottles. Their pops aren’t as sweet or carbonated as ours, but give it a go. Possibly, you can make some interesting cocktails from them.

There’s a dairy selection from around the world, pickled veggies, mustard, hot sauces, cereals, jams, hearty breads, and delicious prepared salads. You’ll also find boxed chocolates in gorgeous, artistic boxes for very affordable prices. In fact, they make what my dad used to call “great blind items” — things that you have no idea what the price is. On occasions when I have had to give gifts to celebrities, Euro Deli came to the rescue!

Euro Deli is also a fast, easy, affordable way to make an exotic picnic or party.

Don’t overlook the frozen case by the door — it has “sirkis”, which are frozen chocolate-covered farmer’s cheese. Get the blue labeled kind, which also have golden raisins. Okay, nobody ever said this was a diet place, though they do have slenderizing teas from Russia!

 

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