I have reviewed quite a few products found at Aldi, a global grocery retailer that focuses on value-priced items.
They are able to achieve lower costs by largely staying away from big brand names, and instead, creating their own brands and contracting the manufacture and packaging of them to quality co-packers and producers.
This product is typically used for sandwiches and similar purposes and is thin-sliced in equally sized rectangles. It achieves this quality being sliced off a “loaf” of ham, which is created from mechanically separated pork parts, water and spices. An image of the ingredients appears below.
For this time, Aldi has turned to the ham manufacturing expertise of Plumrose, USA, a division of Europe’s largest pork processor, Denmark’s Danish Crown Company. In the U.S., both for it’s own label and other outlets, Plumrose produces bacon, ham, deli counter and canned meat items.
Last year, Plumrose USA was purchased by Brazilian food giant, JBS, the largest meat processor in the world, with 150 plants and 200,000 employees. JBS owns several brands you are familiar with, including Swift & Company, which in turn has a couple dozen pork and beef brands, and Pilgrim’s Pride Chickens. These hams are made at the Plumrose plant in Booneville, MS, 100 miles southeast of Memphis, TN.
Back to the subject. This type of ham is created on a basis similar as to seen in this video: trimmed pork is marinated, further chopped, pressed in to a shape for market, and then smoked.
The result is a flavorful ham product, and Aldi’s is as good as any lunch meat style ham, and of course, priced much less than big brands. Structural integrity of texture is important to me, that it closely resembles the mastication experience of whole muscle meat, and this comes close enough.