Curious food #11: Meat Food

18 Nov

Sometimes manufacturers just don’t think about the importance of a name. “Potted Meat Food Product” does not exactly inspire confidence. In addition, anything that has to reassure me that it is food is actually a concern to me. “No, really, it’s food. See? It says so right on the can.” On the other hand, it is not pretending to be something that it isn’t. When the ingredients are “Mechanically Separated Chicken, Pork Skin, Partially Defatted Cooked Fatty Tissue, Partially Defatted Cooked Beef Fatty Tissue, Vinegar, Salt, Spices, Sugar, Flavorings, Sodium Erythorbate and Sodium Nitrite”, I guess it really has no right to have a fancy name. By the way, how does one defat fatty tissue?

In all honesty, I have nothing against using as many parts of an animal as possible. Growing up on a farm taught me to give the animals that we are eating a good life, be respectful and not waste anything. I remember amazing sandwiches that my Mom made out of beef tongue. And I’m not kidding – they were really delicious! So I’m actually all for it. Except I’d rather not have mine processed and with chemical additives. Here are some nice recipes for “Variety Meats” from my Favorite Eastern Star Recipes: Traditional Meats cookbook.

Another meat food product in my Cabinet of Food Curiosities is Red Bird Imitation Vienna Sausage. I guess there must be stringent rules for what can or cannot be labelled real Vienna Sausage, although I could not find any rules. And since Red Bird’s extremely honest list of ingredients include, among other things “pork stomachs, pork skins and pork spleens”, perhaps they felt they could not rise to the lofty title of Vienna Sausage.

However, I did find a video of the Vienna Sausage Choir singing Christmas carols to put us in the mood for the approaching festive season!

The last of the meat food products from my Cabinet is Prairie Belt Vienna Sausage. Apparently these passed the test to be labelled as true Vienna sausage. The ingredients for Prairie Belt Vienna Sausage are rather generic: animals are named but not their parts. The thing about Prairie Belt Vienna Sausage that I find most disturbing is the photograph of the very pale, unhealthy looking sausages and the drawing of the prairie boy whose face is the same colour as the pale, unhealthy looking sausages. Perhaps his diet consisted purely of Vienna Sausage.

By the way, meat food products tend to come in handy pop-top cans (just like cat food). But instead of going for the ease of pop-top meat food, why not cook up some real variety meats this week for the family – maybe even some Beef Heart Chop Suey!

Posted by Truly Scrumptious

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8 Responses to “Curious food #11: Meat Food”

  1. swankola November 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Another brilliant post. I really enjoyed the Vienna Sausage Choir. For the vegetarians, here’s the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra: http://www.vegetableorchestra.org/about.php

  2. Truly Scrumptious November 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Love it! Who knew that carrots could be fabulous as flutes?

  3. Yvonne November 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Hilarious! I love reading your posts. Your cabinet must be bulging!

    • Truly Scrumptious November 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

      Thanks Yvonne! Yes it is but I there are getting to be fewer blog-worthy foods left. I think I need to go to a foreign country and stock up…

  4. The Erratic Cook November 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Cans of meat has always been something I avoid…now I’m reminded why. Although I do agree about using the whole animal I just prefer if other people eat the canned bits. Ask Adrian about Vienna sausage. Maybe he will chime in with his story.

    • Truly Scrumptious November 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

      I think we need his story AND an Adrian’s Aisles post. Vienna sausage and a large selection of potted meat foods are alarmingly available at supermarkets for an Adrian taste-test and report.

  5. jennisuzan April 10, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    I used to love Red Bird Imitation Vienna Sausages and I wish they still made them. As disgusting as they sound, they actually were quite tasty and very cheap. They were my secret food passion as a child. They suddenly disappeared in the Nineties and I called Bryan Meats and learned they had been discontinued.

    • Truly Scrumptious April 10, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

      Sorry to hear about your meat food loss. Childhood memories can cause powerful food cravings!

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