Friday, August 14, 2009

Grocery Store Romance and Pimento Loaf

From the website archives, widda bit of updating herein...

I can answer the title thus: bunk and boloney. And that covers this post. Bye.
Just kidding.
Shopping at the local grocery store recently, I was looking for the product section that's supposed to be full of single women who're looking to bump into single guys. I always see it depicted in TV commercials or during intensely humanized movie dramas that stress love, life and getting in touch with one's innerself, like Diehard and Twister.
Frankly, I was dubious as to my prospects in this thesis: I've spent many a moments browsing local grocery aisles for things from anti-septic to Zingers. In my personal experience, the aforementioned thesis is a Hollywood fabrication, as I have yet to find the aisle where guys and gals were checking out each others' melons and rump roasts.

But while seeking the mythical aisle, I happened upon the lunch meat section (no pun generally intended). The place where names like Oscar Meyer, Louis Rich, Jimmy Dean and Alfred Packer are commonplace. Whilst pondering my original quest, my thrice-concussed mind got to wondering about the term 'lunch meat', and whether I was digressing or not.
At any rate, with the primary quest in limbo, I began a secondary quest. A quest to find something that has always made me wonder, and culinarily convulse: pimento loaf.
Initially -- as with my primary quest -- I struck out on the secondary one, too. Nothing under the name of pimento loaf. But before returning to that, I found some other things even stranger than a single woman seeking a guy in the condiments/gherkins section.
For instance, I found an assortment of beef-based lunch meats: beef. Roast beef. Beef bologna and corned beef. And therewith, I found pastrami, which I guess has something to do with beef, too. The label suggested it did, saying "beef flavoring solution", without revealing what that solution had proven to be. It said other things that almost made me wish I'd paid more attention in Chemistry 101, like "sodium phosphate, sodium ascorbate and sodium nitrate". Guess they make pastrami taste like beef, too.

Then I found something claiming to be "pot roast beef loaf". It didn't look anything like any pot roast I'd ever had. Especially with ingredients like gelatin, dextrose, garlic powder flavoring, onion powder and worchestershire sauce. Add to that list sub-ingredients like molasses, distilled vinegar and tarmarind. It also listed "natural flavor". Natural flavor of what? Is there a natural worchestershire plant or animal with this taste? And it even listed in the ingredients, anchovies.
What the hell is this "pot roast beef loaf" supposed to be for: sandwiches, or halibut bait?

Next to it, I found something called "Liver Cheese". It contained things like pork fat-wrapped lining, pork livers, pork and pork fat. I knew that NASA built in redundancy, but I didn't know that NASA had a lunch meat-making division. The "Liver Cheese" also had something in it called "reconstituted onions". If they were onions in the first place, why did they need reconstituting? Weren't they "good" onions? Were they genetic disappointments, being given a second chance as a filler?
All the while, I never saw a single ingredient that mentioned "cheese". Hmmmm.
Keeping with that theme, I then stumbled upon "Head Cheese": again, no mention of any kind of real cheese in the ingredients. But the 'head' part was easy to figure out: pork snouts and cured pork tongues were in there. Cured pork tongues? And how was this cure an improvement over the disease? Without digressing into someone's efforts to "cure" hellthcare, I decided to move on.
Next I found "New England Brand Summer Sausage". I've had this and enjoyed it. But as I perused the label for hidden dietary ambushes, I noted in bold print on the package "Made in Wisconsin". WTF??? New England can't make their own branded summer sausage?

Liberal slackers.
Then I found a product that went from weird to just plain ominous: "Spiced Luncheon Loaf". Not that I found the name ominous; but one of the ingredients certainly appeared so: "mechanically-separated chicken". Whoa. And PETA thought chickens had it bad at KFC.
Finally, I did find something akin to pimento loaf, disguised under two different names: "Pickle Loaf" and "Olive Loaf". The former also contained remnants of "mechanically-separated chicken", as well as pickles, olives and those red pimento things. It didn't say if those other ingredients had been "mechanically-separated" as well, and I didn't have the heart to inquire.

As for the "Olive Loaf", I had had enough of random discovery, and wasn't up to finding out if Popeye's version of Twiggy was loafing after taking Bludo and Popeye to the cleaners in cartoon divorce court or not.
My curiosity was beyond satisfied. On both quests.
Henceforth, I'll just stick to grocery shopping for food. No more quests for mates or pimento loaf. Besides, with my luck, I'd meet a woman there who runs one of those "mechanical separators".
And I'm sure it doesn't work just on chickens...


Blogger Monica said...

I personally believe that out of any male blogger I have ever come across that you would be the first one picked up in a blogging aisle...see? I still know QUALITY when it counts. :)

Take care of you.

26 November, 2007 14:38  
Blogger phoenix said...

Happy belated turk... um pimento loaf day? :P Hope yours was full of stuffing and gravy! Hugs!

26 November, 2007 17:00  
Blogger Stacy said...

I actually had my own little lunch meat adventure back in the day (1981). My friend's brother and I were sent by his grandmother to purchase (I am not making this up) Blood Pudding.

Now, if you were looking for this stuff, where would you look? We looked where any sane person would look....the jello and pudding row.

It wasn't until after we'd searched said row in every grocery store in town that thought to ask someone and learned that the congealed, gelatinous stuff was sold in the deli.

My mother still tells the story with amazing regularity.

27 November, 2007 09:09  
Anonymous Jon D said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

28 November, 2007 00:02  
Blogger Herb said...

Looks like you have a new fan!

28 November, 2007 05:11  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Herb: yeah, the child can't help himself. So I'll have some more *fun* with his childishness.

28 November, 2007 05:16  
Anonymous Jon D. said...

Skunkboy: dont you touch my comments, you old geezer! I have rights!

28 November, 2007 05:18  
Anonymous Jon Decibels said...


28 November, 2007 05:22  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Jon D: since you insist on continuing to make a fool of yourself, and accuse me of making you look thus...what the heck. I'm going to help you with every visit you make here to look as stupid as possible. No need to thank me; you do so much of the work yourself, it won't be much work on my part.

28 November, 2007 05:24  
Anonymous Jon D. said...


28 November, 2007 07:25  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Jon D: nawp. You got no rights here, save for the right to look stupid within the limits this benevolent dictator sets on his blog. Deal widdit.

28 November, 2007 07:27  
Blogger Herb said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 November, 2007 16:58  
Blogger Debbie said...

I remember pickle loaf and pimento loaf, and don't knock liver cheese until you try it, ha.

If you're looking for a woman in the grocery store, be sure to find one who is buying MEAT. You don't want to get stuck with a celery eater.

Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth

14 August, 2009 13:02  
Blogger ChristinaJade said...

I was fixin' to say the same thing Debbie did! :) Shop for wommerins where you shop for things that go on the grill, or you might end up with one of those hairy vegan girls.


14 August, 2009 20:16  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Hairy vegans? Sounds positively sci-fi!!! LOL...

15 August, 2009 03:54  

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