I'd always assumed that this homemade deli meat was a food my grandfather had brought with him from Riga, Latvia. Though my cousins dubbed it kruglinkaya kurochka (KROO-gleen-ka-ya KOO-rech-ka), "round little chicken," on account of its shape when sliced, my mother called it pickled chicken because her father cured the meat in allspice, bay leaf, garlic, and salt—the same seasonings he'd used back in the old country to pickle tongue and brisket. Recently, when I called my grandfather in Massachusetts to get the recipe, I found out it wasn't a Latvian tradition at all: Disappointed with the bland deli meats he'd encountered in America, my grandfather had improvised his own. "The cold cuts you buy at the store have no taste, so you use mustard," he told me. "With this, you don't need mustard." It's true. The sign of good kruglinkaya kurochka is enough garlic to ward off a legion of vampires. It's the ideal meat for an open-face sandwich, needing nothing but one unadorned slice of bread to convey it cleanly from plate to mouth.