I’ve got a few years of deli experience under my belt. I’ve dealt with the evil, malicious spikes of prawns and filled black trays full of wobbly chicken breast (or as one man delightfully said: Chicken boobies!). There’s bloody chicken necks and spluttered splattered hot oily chicken mingled with the stench of marked down fish at bargin prices. Grossed out yet?
Surprisingly, these things (and juices) don’t really phase me. What does baffle me and give me that erghhhh shiver down my spine is people who order devon and chicken loaf. And this stuff is popular, very popular in more middle to lower income families who feed it daily to their spawn. Devon comes in big cylinder slabs of processed pink meat, which is then sliced at about 1.5 to 2 centimetres on a slicer. Chicken Loaf is square and a creamy white colour and comes in a big slab. These meats are so processed that all the meat remains stuck together, there is a cooking agent that makes it all come together as one.
Some may say these meats are popular because they are cheap and nasty, but at 8.99 a kilo (for devon) and 11.99 (for chicken loaf) it is not much cheaper than the ham which is on special for the week which is around 10-12 a kilo. So, why then? I reckon its because people do not know whats in it. Sweet, oh sweet oblivion.
And there was the day when I happily wedged a piece of devon on some bread with a bit of sauce at age eight. But no more. Devon is about 60% meat. What meat you say? Well that is the question, its mostly pork but is not very specific in which part of the pig the meat comes from. And hang on a second? 60%?! Only 60% meat! Yep, another 40% of that red pink slice is glucose or fat keeping that baby all together nicely. Not too mention artificial colours and flavourings. Even Wikipedia proved useless into uncovering the truth about whats in ya devon sandwich.
Chicken Loaf is not really chicken but really fat and glucose loaf. It contains wheat and flavourings and resembles a piece of rubber. Delicious! God knows if any chicken is actually in the processed thing.
So next time you pop into a delicatessen take note of the physical appearance of your desired sliced meat choice. Does it look like something someone has stepped in? Do you really know what animal it has come from? But if these things don’t matter to you, proceed to gluttonous unknown animal squish bliss.