Today I picked up a pound of “Prima Della,” ($9.99) which is the Wal Mart deli counter’s in-house brand.
According to the USDA plant number on the package, the pastrami is manufactured by Best Provision, LLC, out of Newark, New Jersey. According to their website, Best is a family owned and operated concern, more than six decades old, and they focus on private label manufacturing of cooked beef products. For most of their products, they offer a choice of three different grades, “Certified Angus,” “USDA choice,” and “ungraded.”
No idea which ilk of meat Wal Mart chooses for their selections.
Wal Mart deli meats are priced at 15-25% less than the ‘national brands,” and for some deli counter products, this might be OK.
While the Prima Della pastrami looks and smells like a quality product, it’s one of those prepared meat products which really falls down on texture or “chewability.” So many deli meats (and roasts, chickens, and pork roasts) today have that same texture, and it’s really started to bug me. I have no idea what happens in the manufacturing process to cause this malady, but I suspect it has to do with that phrase one often sees emblazoned on packages (“injected with a XX% solution of XXXX”), which I generally believe is used to soften (and/or flavor) meat muscle and is most like a salt-derivative product, but it’s also a way for manufacturers to add 10% or more weight to their product at little or no cost.
I don’t like it. In an effort to please the masses, food manufacturers are making products as ‘palatable’ (and tender) as possible. Hence, these products no longer taste or chew like animal flesh. Think of brine injected meats as the Fox News of the meat manufacturing world.
For my money, I’ll keep spending the extra 20% or so to get whole muscle, no additive, deli meats. While they are still being made.
Best Provisions LLC is located on Avon Avenue, right behind Millie’s Restaurant, which offers Spanish cuisine from 6 AM seven days a week, and free delivery, if you happen to be in the neighborhood.
Prima Della Pastrami Review