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Why do Applegate Farms products suck?


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I am probably one of those people who eats too much processed meat & is doomed to die a wretched death. (Well who isn't but that's not the point, for now.) So I thought I would be health-conscious & bought some Applegate Farms smoked turkey.

 

I ate some on my sandwich today. It reminded me again that I've disliked everything I've ever bought from them. I generally remember this for a few months until the memory fades. Then, a year or so later, either I've forgotten the previous experiences or I think, "Hey, they're still in business, they must have improved their stuff." Only they haven't. On & on it goes.

 

In this case the smoky flavor is way too strong, the slices are full of cartilage & such, making it obvious that this is the worst sort of chopped & molded turkey loaf. It's left me vaguely nauseous (I realize that last may be partly due to the heat).

 

They may use the dreaded nitrites, but our local boys at Thumann's get much better hams & turkeys to the deli counters out here.

 

Is there a third way? Has anyone found any edible alternatives?

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I am probably one of those people who eats too much processed meat & is doomed to die a wretched death. (Well who isn't but that's not the point, for now.) So I thought I would be health-conscious & bought some Applegate Farms smoked turkey.

 

I ate some on my sandwich today. It reminded me again that I've disliked everything I've ever bought from them. I generally remember this for a few months until the memory fades. Then, a year or so later, either I've forgotten the previous experiences or I think, "Hey, they're still in business, they must have improved their stuff." Only they haven't. On & on it goes.

 

In this case the smoky flavor is way too strong, the slices are full of cartilage & such, making it obvious that this is the worst sort of chopped & molded turkey loaf. It's left me vaguely nauseous (I realize that last may be partly due to the heat).

 

They may use the dreaded nitrites, but our local boys at Thumann's get much better hams & turkeys to the deli counters out here.

 

Is there a third way? Has anyone found any edible alternatives?

the only applegate farms item that didn't completely turn me off is their sunday bacon but given the choice, i'd prefer to buy niman ranch bacon. maybe a drive down through amish country would yield some natural smoked meats that have not been chopped and reformed.

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there's a fancy "natural store" in my neighborhood that can barely keep the applegate product on the shelves. you'd think they were giving the stuff away. do people just not know what meat is supposed to taste and look like?

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At least it's not just my idiosyncratic tastes, then.

 

At the deli counter at our new Fairway, they sell Applegate & Fra'mani side by side, sliced to order, as if they were equals. (Not where I bought the Applegate.) I went for the Fra'mani rosemary ham when we were up there. Greasiest ham I've ever had, every slice was covered with a tangible layer of fat. Don't know if it was supposed to be that way, or if they have storage problems with their deli meats. It was like the fat had melted & oozed all over the ham as they were slicing it. I'd carried an insulated cooler bag & coldpack with me so the ham stayed cold once I left the store.

 

Anyway, in spite of all the fat, the flavor of that ham was outstanding. I'm gonna have to ask some pointed questions of the deli staff next time I'm back there.

 

Damn the nitrites, full speed ahead.

 

I got dem sliced ham blues.... Where's Squeat, it's time for more classic blues lyrics.

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At least it's not just my idiosyncratic tastes, then.

 

At the deli counter at our new Fairway, they sell Applegate & Fra'mani side by side, sliced to order, as if they were equals. (Not where I bought the Applegate.) I went for the Fra'mani rosemary ham when we were up there. Greasiest ham I've ever had, every slice was covered with a tangible layer of fat. Don't know if it was supposed to be that way, or if they have storage problems with their deli meats. It was like the fat had melted & oozed all over the ham as they were slicing it. I'd carried an insulated cooler bag & coldpack with me so the ham stayed cold once I left the store.

 

Anyway, in spite of all the fat, the flavor of that ham was outstanding. I'm gonna have to ask some pointed questions of the deli staff next time I'm back there.

 

Damn the nitrites, full speed ahead.

 

I got dem sliced ham blues.... Where's Squeat, it's time for more classic blues lyrics.

 

I've been buying that rosemary ham for awhile, minus the grease.

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At least it's not just my idiosyncratic tastes, then.

 

At the deli counter at our new Fairway, they sell Applegate & Fra'mani side by side, sliced to order, as if they were equals. (Not where I bought the Applegate.) I went for the Fra'mani rosemary ham when we were up there. Greasiest ham I've ever had, every slice was covered with a tangible layer of fat. Don't know if it was supposed to be that way, or if they have storage problems with their deli meats. It was like the fat had melted & oozed all over the ham as they were slicing it. I'd carried an insulated cooler bag & coldpack with me so the ham stayed cold once I left the store.

 

Anyway, in spite of all the fat, the flavor of that ham was outstanding. I'm gonna have to ask some pointed questions of the deli staff next time I'm back there.

 

Damn the nitrites, full speed ahead.

 

I got dem sliced ham blues.... Where's Squeat, it's time for more classic blues lyrics.

 

I've been buying that rosemary ham for awhile, minus the grease.

Thanks. I think Fairway is still working out some of the kinks in their operation. I have the feeling that that ham had been at room temp for quite some time before they sliced it for me.

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Dunno about Applegate Farms (isn't that the Target house brand?), but I have no fear of nitrites. I cure my own bacon (and smoke turkeys and chickens), and nitrites are definitely a part of the process. There a couple of things to consider:

  • Our understanding of nitrites and their role in cancer has increased significantly since the original studies in the 70s.
  • Nitrites, in moderation, pose no more risk than the saccharine in TAB did. Again, the science has advanced since then and the hysteria has died down a bit.
  • If you don't smoke your bacon, you can skip nitrites altogether. Unsmoked bacon (or other meat) has no need of nitrites. Keep it in the fridge or freezer.
  • If you do like smoked bacon (and I do), you must assess the risk of botulism versus the long-term risk of cancer from nitrites. When you cold smoke bacon (or turkey or anything else), you are putting it in an anaerobic environment below 140° for a significant period of time. That's a textbook recipe for botulinum toxin production.
  • Introduction of a moderate amount of nitrite into the cure reduces oxidative rancidity and inhibits pathogen growth, especially Clostridium botulinum, increasing storage life and reducing the risk of botulism poisoning when smoking meats.
  • If you want smoked flavor, nitrites are a good idea if don't want your family to suffer botulism poisoning -- QED
  • I do cook my bacon at lower temperatures because the negative effects of nitrites (the formation of nitrosamines) are associated with high-temperature cooking. Homemade bacon tastes better when cooked at lower temperatures anyway, so this is a no brainer.
Sorry for the thread hijack. Applegate farms meats may suck a dead rat, but don't suffer through them to avoid nitrites and nitrates. There are reasonable and responsible amounts of both that are safe. And if you still find that minute risk unacceptable, know that there are alternatives that are still 100% better than Applegate farms, or any other store brand, but you are going to make some tradeoffs (smoked flavor, for example).

 

Chad

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At least it's not just my idiosyncratic tastes, then.

 

At the deli counter at our new Fairway, they sell Applegate & Fra'mani side by side, sliced to order, as if they were equals. (Not where I bought the Applegate.) I went for the Fra'mani rosemary ham when we were up there. Greasiest ham I've ever had, every slice was covered with a tangible layer of fat. Don't know if it was supposed to be that way, or if they have storage problems with their deli meats. It was like the fat had melted & oozed all over the ham as they were slicing it. I'd carried an insulated cooler bag & coldpack with me so the ham stayed cold once I left the store.

 

Anyway, in spite of all the fat, the flavor of that ham was outstanding. I'm gonna have to ask some pointed questions of the deli staff next time I'm back there.

 

Damn the nitrites, full speed ahead.

 

I got dem sliced ham blues.... Where's Squeat, it's time for more classic blues lyrics.

 

I've been buying that rosemary ham for awhile, minus the grease.

That rosemary ham IS the best tasting ham in the world. I'm not kidding. Yup, I do demos for them. Yup, I don't eat meat. Yet, since I DO have to tell people what the stuff tastes like, I stealed myself for the experience...It was f**kin' great! I couldn't believe it!

This stuff is a whole muscle (all three muscles) of the hog leg. They all come from ranching consortia like Niman Ranch (we DO all know that Niman Ranch is not one ranch, but a consortium of small family farms who agree to farm by the same set of standards, don't we?)

 

We all know that Paul Bertolli, the salumi maker, wrote Alice Waters' cookbook, right? Not that that matters, but he's doin' it right...Whole Foods sells Apple gate and Fra'Mani next to each other, as tho they're equals, too. Cracks me up...

 

I guess I shouldn't mention that I just got home from doing a demo where I made panini from rosemary ham, Salami Rossa, Big Ed's cheese from Saxon Creamery, and it was on Foccaccia from Iggy's in Cambridge...

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