Meat Ends

While perusing the grocery store, I had noticed a small stack of deli-wrapped trays in the refrigerator isle labeled “meat ends”. Apparently the deli department would gradually grind down a large hunk of, say, ham and would eventually end up with a little warn down nub of meat that couldn’t be safely sliced anymore. So rather than throw it away, they threw a few of them into a tray and marked it for cheap.

To me, this was an amazing revelation. No longer was I restricted to only large hunks or paper-thin slices of my dead animal product. No, these pieces were the size of large crackers, and with a squirt of mustard could be made into instant meat-snacks. And they were cheap as well — three or four pieces for only $1! Excited, I bought a stack of them.

I had a grin on my face as I tore open the first package, selected a small piece of what appeared to be turkey, but with the dark, grid-shaped pattern on the back of the slab. I realized that the outside of the meat was something I’d never tasted before, and although it wasn’t exactly what I would call “good,” it wasn’t bad per se. The excitement wore off after the second bite, whereupon I realized that these meat hunks had clearly been left poorly wrapped in a refrigerator together for too long, and their flavors had blended together to create something of a “generic luncheon waste product” flavor, common among all the meats no matter the animal of origin.

Additionally, certain fattier meats, clearly not intended to be consumed in hunks, had oozed a clear, gelatinous substance that clung to the shrink wrap and the tray. Running the meat under the faucet wouldn’t get it off, so I ended up having to wipe it off with a paper towel. I ate the piece of ham anyway, and then, glancing at the paper towel (that now was covered in this fatty mucus-like substance) I realized just what I was doing.

Saving money is great. Not being wasteful is great. Having snack sized bits of meat around? Fantastic in concept. Meat ends? A mistake. A horrible, horrible mistake.


2 responses to “Meat Ends

  1. You have clearly made an astronomical error here. What you do is go to the deli and ask the person behind the counter for the meat ends. This way you get a look and tell them what you want. All for peanuts’ and as you said “and with a squirt of mustard could be made into instant meat-snacks” YOU DO GET LARGE HUNKS OF HAM TURKEY ETC but the packet your referring to I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole. Go to the Deli.

    Justin in England

  2. I love meatends

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