On Bland Cold-cuts

Why are all the meats I find in the cold cut section so bland lately? They stock 97 different types of bland HAM, but rarely do I spot pastrami or decent a corned beef. They stock turkey and chicken cold cuts, but those are very bland. Even the so-called “smoked” flavors are lacking in smoke flavoring.

No wonder people seek out adventure – it’s because we can’t find decent food. It’s all bland. It’s 99% fat free, which means 99% TASTE FREE. Fat is where the flavor is… combined with salt to allow the flavors to be enhanced. Many are now using non-salt preservatives. This will most likely be shown to be much more dangerous to us than salt or fat, in the long run.

So last week I spotted a display with a package of what appeared to be a tasty pastrami, looked to be loads of pepper and spices on the crust, and a decent amount of fat marbled throughout the meat.

$5.99… still I plunged.

I get it home, and with quivering anticipation I open the package and drop a generous amount onto a slice of bread. I drop a slice of extra-sharp cheddar onto the pile and cover.
I dive in.

I taste… bread… cheese…

and my tongue feels a rubbery substance that could be meat, but is more likely sliced tofu without the flavorings.

Yeah – somehow someone at this meat plant figured out a way to totally drain any taste from pastrami. I thought this’d be impossible… but somehow they managed to do it.

In this world of the Nanny-state, where it’s no longer the choice of the individual to eat foods that MIGHT be somewhat risky as far as fat goes, where stores simply stop risking killing off their customers by allowing them the CHOICE of fat-free or regular, loaded with fat and salt meats, now we the food buyers and eaters have severely limited choices when it comes to cold cuts. No wonder men who eat sandwiches packed by their wives stay late “at work” – most likely it’s because they’re out trying to spice up their life. Not by shagging a stripper named Bambi, but they’re probably at a deli buying a real sandwich with real cold cuts that are packed with spices and fat.

I queried a store manager about this and I was told that a lot of the people are from “up north” and they like blander diets. I replied with “Bull”… the last time I was “up north” (New Hampshire), I found the best tasting pastrami ever – loads of spices, juicy with liquid fat.
We, as a nation, are doomed if all we have are bland cold cuts. I can’t trust any cold cuts I buy anymore. Even if I find pastrami again, I feel it’ll have as much flavor as a white pencil eraser.

Texas is supposed to be a state that is bigger than life, and this includes our food. But lately – unless I make it myself – barbeque at a chain barbeque place was bland.

Sure, you can get “HOT” food, but that isn’t flavorful food. True Mexican cooking isn’t hot peppered beyond reason. It’s got delightful spices such as Cumin and cilantro.

Is it too much to friggen ask that I can buy decent cold cuts at my local grocery store and not have to hunt and drive to find decent pastrami and corned beef, really favorable cold cuts made with FAT and preserved with SALT? If I want enough preservatives to keep me from decomposing for 50 years when I die, I’ll eat Twinkies.

PLEASE, if you are a buyer for the Austin, Texas grocery chains, PLEASE buy cold cuts with the old fashioned recipes which include FAT, SALT and PEPPER. Yes, risk killing off your customers with “risky food”… but this will allow us to have a life filled with pleasures, one of which is eating luncheon meats. I do not derive pleasure from having to spice up my sandwiches with condiments. The meats and cheeses should contribute flavor as well.

That $5.99 pastrami is slick, gooey and very much unlike any Pastrami I have ever encountered. It’s more like a ham with coloring to fool people into thinking it’s actually beef that has been injected with salt and spices, smoked after being rubbed with pepper and coriander and other spices. Cold smoked.


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