I was actually a big fan of sandwiches until my perception of the slabs of meat stored in the butcher’s case was forever tainted by an episode of “How It’s Made.”
For years I was able to sustain the belief that the perfectly shaped hams, turkeys, and salami rolls were delicately carved from various steers and pigs, carefully wrapped, and then delivered as-is to the local deli counter.
Instead, they showed how bits and pieces of said animals are mashed and blended with a wide range of chemicals and spices before being extruded like a giant pink turd through a machine that resembles a huge pasta maker. Only it doesn’t make noodles. What it makes are nauseating blobs of discolored meat paste that’s then cooked, colored, injected with flavoring, and wrapped for delivery.
Of course I’ve long known that there aren’t cows and pigs walking around the barnyard with oval cuts made from their buttocks but it was still a far more appetizing thought when I was able to convince myself that “sliced turkey breast” was actually sliced from a giant hunk of turkey breast, and not from a giant hunk of well-formed turkey putty.
Still, I’m able to block that memory from my brain once in a while to indulge in a nice sub or sandwich on rye. And when I do, my meats of choice are capicola hot ham, honey roasted turkey, and hard salami. Top ’em off with lettuce and thin-sliced swiss cheese and you have yourself an extruded treat fit for a king.
I realize this is a really short post but how much can one really say about lunch meat? If there’s one topic out there that doesn’t need to be stretched beyond its natural lifespan, this is it. Second only to “What’s Your Favorite Saltine Cracker.”