I’ve been trying out a lot of deli meats, lately, mostly pastrami and corned beef. I’m a fairly big snob / choosy about what I buy, eschewing the more inexpensive brands, which tend to be what I refer to commonly as “chopped, pressed, and form,” meat and other additives reconstituted to resemble roasts. I much prefer companies that use whole muscle meats for their deli offerings, like NY’s Carnegie and Chicago’s Vienna Beef.
Today I picked up a pound of Hormel Roast Beef ($6.99 a pound, Wal Mart), and upon investigation of the packaging, and noting the USDA establishment number (15835), I find this product is produced and packaged for Hormel by a company called Dan’s Prize, in Long Prairie, MN. Dan’s Prize was started in the 80s; Long Prairie is in the middle of the state, about 3.5 hours NW of Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minnesota.
The taste and texture of the meat is acceptable, and my only red flag is the printing on the front of the package “contains isolated soybean proteins.” Upon further investigation, this is a powder used to emulate flavor in food products, and are a highly concentrated form of protein. They were developed nearly 80 years ago for industrial purposes, mainly as (wait for it) adhesives for paper coatings. Yum.
If you choose to shop the deli counter at most Wal Marts, your brand selection is pretty narrow. Most of the product is Prima Della (Wal Mart’s house brand) (also made by a variety of contract manufacturers), at the store I stopped at today, in addition to the one Hormel product, there were about half a dozen Sara Lee deli meats.
They don’t stock any of the premium national brands at the service deli, however you may find some pre-packaged items elsewhere in the store.
Would I buy the Hormel beef again? Well, most likely, it’s a fair price, and as I said, the taste and texture are palatable. And who can’t use a little more paper coasting adhesive in their diet? Pix of Dan’s Prize factory below.
Hormel Deli Roast Beef Review