Great Value Smoked Ham Lunchmeat Review – A WalMart Product

Great Value Smoked Ham Lunchmeat ReviewI write a lot about ham, it seems.  Because I love it.

I love premium hams and have driven background all over the country in search of small processors, and been very successful in Virginia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Missouri. I have quite a few reviews of very expensive ham, as well as very cheap “ham.”

Today we’re talking about the latter, Great Value (WalMart brand) Smoked Ham lunchmeat.  I’ve always called this type of meat “pressed, chopped, and formed,” but that’s really the wrong order. Earlier advertisements for this segment label it “chopped pressed and cooked” and that’s more apt, isn’t it?

Bits of pork, seasonings, a saline solution and artificial smoke are combined to make a “loaf” which is thin sliced and packaged.

This product is made for WalMart by an old Chicago area meat processor, Carl Buddig. I have pix of their factory below, and also of their own packaging for similar product, which you will surely recognize. Incidentally, Buddig makes some of the best hot dogs on the planet, in natural casings, the brand is “Old Wisconsin,” which are a pork and beef blend.  Buddig is privately held, and still run by the founder’s family members.

Bottom line, this type of “ham” really has no taste or texture to me. I’ve always thought the only differences in the contents of the Buddig packages below was color. I had a lot of that stuff for school lunches a million years ago. Take a bite, no clue what is was. Lift the bread? Brown, roast beef, pink, ham, white, turkey.

Here’s the thing. The Great Value is $2.50 for 9 ounces. That’s anywhere from $2-$4 less than big brand names for the same amount, and basically the same product, unless you’re getting into the high-end, slice at the deli counter kinda thing. And there aren’t many of those that are worth the additional cost. IMHO.

Great Value Smoked Ham Lunchmeat Review

Smoked ham slices

Great Value Smoked Ham Lunchmeat Review

Buddig Brand Packaging

Great Value Smoked Ham Lunchmeat Review

Old Time Buddig Package

Great Value Smoked Ham Lunchmeat Review

Buddig Factory, 25 miles south of downtown Chicago



Great Value Smoked Ham Lunchmeat Review

Great Value Smoked Ham Lunchmeat Review

Lunch Mate Cooked Ham Review – An Aldi Branded Product

Lunch Mate Cooked Ham ReviewI 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.


Lunch Mate Cooked Ham Review


Lunch Mate Cooked Ham Review


Lunch Mate Cooked Ham Review

Plumrose Mississippi Plant

Field Liverwurst Review

Field Liverwurst ReviewMy mom used to make me braunschweiger and mustard sandwiches to tote to school on occasion. Braunschweiger is a Midwestern term for liverwurst, which in the south is also called “Kentucky Pate.”

The sandwiches were a respite from the steady diet of bologna, PB&J, and that crappy lunch meat that came in plastic packages, ham, turkey, roast beef, like 49 cents a package for paper thin slices, that all tasted the same, but were different colors. Don’t even think about getting me started when she went on the yogurt kick.

I pretty much thought all liverwurst was the same. Looks the same. Mostly packaged the same, so I’ve been buying whichever one is on sale.

This week it was “Field” Brand, made by Specialty Foods Group of Owensboro, KY. Think I have a new favorite. First two  ingredients on the package are pork liver and pork. Then comes the ‘contains less than 2% listing’….perfectly acceptable. Liverwurst is occasionally smoked, and is stuffed into natural or artificial casings.

Liverwurst is kind of like a pate, but a little less spreadable. I generally slice it off, still in the wrapper to keep its shape, peel the wrappers, and place circles of the spread between two slices of (still) white bread. Yellow mustard rules. Sometimes sliced raw onion. It does have a distinctly liver taste, but not like the pukey liver and onions stuff, more like chopped chicken liver at a top-notch Jewish deli.

In any regards, it’s one of my occasional comfort foods.

Specialty Foods is a conglomeration of different brands, some dating back one hundred years or more. Field is one of them, as are Kentucky Legend, and Chicago’s Scott Petersen.

They apparently sell a lot of hams, and if you’re not planning on being on the turkey hotline during the holidays, Specialty has a ham hotline to answer every single question you have about preparing and serving ham, including recipes for leftovers.

Field Liverwurst ReviewCheck out where to buy their products with their locator.

SFG’s plant is USDA facility # M7467-P7467 and is located at 6 Dublin Lane in Owensboro. Pix below.  In the mood to purchase some other meats?  Burgers, dogs, or pizza?  Go. Buy.


Field Liverwurst Review

SFG Plant, Owensboro, KY


Field Liverwurst Reivew

SFG Plant, Owensboro, KY Aerial View








Field Liverwurst Review