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One more Boston experience...chipped meat?

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One more funny Boston food experience. Our hotel was in Andover, The Staybridge Suites, a great hotel for families but way to far from the city. The hotel sent us to The Bread Basket for groceries, the name sounded charming but the store was not. I was on line at the deli for some meats and when my turn came and I asked for turkey, the girl asked if I wanted it “chipped” or something else, I could not catch the something else. Well I had NO idea what she was talking about, I said excuse me and she repeated it and I still had no idea! I felt like I was in a foreign country standing there with a blank look on my face after the third time I said “regular?”, she rolled her eyes and went ahead and sliced it. Someone came after me and ordered her meat ‘chipped’ so I finally figured it out! It’s so interested how simple things like deli meats are served so differently in various parts of the country! I know this is a silly question but is there an advantage to getting it ‘chipped’? Is it more tender that way? Or do you simply get more bulk for the pound? I’ve never seen deli meat chipped.

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  1. What exactly does "chipped" mean, in this context? Is that like hand-carved turkey, where you're getting thicker, irregular slices off an unprocessed chunk of the bird? Or is this some variant of machine-slicing technique?

    I'm familiar with chipped beef, aka dried beef (see link), but I've only seen that indispensable component of SOS sold in jars, not at the deli counter.

    Link: http://www.foodsubs.com/MeatDried.html

    1. I think it might be shaved deli meat, which is fairly common. Did it look very, very thin in irregular pieces?

      1. I grew up in Andover, and I have never heard that term. I also worked at a deli, not that one, for years, and never heard of it either. Maybe it's a term used for a particular way that deli slices it's meat?

        1. Funny - that's not a term I've ever heard around here, but growing up in Pittsburgh it was a staple. Chipped does mean sliced very thin so that you don't have slices, but more like shreds or fragments. I don't know what the advantage is, except I think that it might hold sauce better than slices and you do sort of get a different texture/density to the meat part of your sandwich. Interesting to know that it's an option some places here.


          1 Reply
          1. re: MiriamTeresa

            I second that -- I've only heard it back home in Pittsburgh as in "chipped ham." Never here. Funny. Wonder if the woman was a transplant from the 'Burgh.

          2. Is is deli meet that is sliced very very thin and yes it is more tender and as funny as it sounds it taste much better than regular sliced deli meat

            1. I grew up here, and have never heard that term either. It sounds like what I would call "shaved". Will have to ask for "chipped" next time I am at the deli, and see what happens!

              1. SOS (*#$^%@ On a Shingle) was a staple when I was growing up. Put it on rice and I am in heaven. Chipped beef is thinly sliced beef that has been salted, and then dried or smoked. It is usually served on toast if you can find it in a restaraunt. It was also a cheap meal in port when there weren't too many of the crew around when I was in the Navy. The last time I found it was in Virginia in a 50s diner style restaraunt. I always thought that the chipping constituted the drying or salting of the beef.

                1. Now that I have read some of the posts I think she might have said 'shaved', it was definetly a term I had not heard before when ordering deli meats. It was just as described, sliced so thin that it sort of shreads. It looked interesting, everyone seemed to be ordering it that way except me. And I think I have the name of the store wrong too, it might have been Market Basket, not Bread Basket, in any case it was not the best supermarket.

                  1. s
                    strawberry girl

                    I can remember chipped ham from my very early years in Pittsburgh. It was a family favorite & I'm guessing because we loved the salty taste. Here in Northern California I have to explain how I want my meat sliced at the deli counter.