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Best brand of deli meats?

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I'm hosting a little family get together this weekend, and I'd like to get some high quality deli meats for a sandwich platter. Besides Boar's Head, are there any other brands I should look for? Definitely trying to avoid the turkey roll.

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  1. Where are you? Why not consider specialties from a real butcher or deli instead of a "brand?"

    6 Replies
    1. re: mrbarolo

      In the wilds of central VA, far from the delis and butchers of my NYC youth.

      1. re: Newbie

        In that case Boar's Head if you can get it. They also sell packaged 'chunks' of peppered turkey etc. so yo can slice it and it doesn't look like deli meat.

        1. re: Aimee

          Thats the route I would go. Get yourself a slicer, it comes in very handy. HormelCure81 ham is excellent. You could have done your own roast beef etc. Also if you have the Cittero brand in your deli case, pre-sliced they are quite good, prosciutto included.

        2. re: Newbie

          The question is really what's available wherever you are in VA.

          On the Italian side, I think Volpi, Citterio and Molinari are all good salami makers. Also coppa.

          On the German side, there's Karl Ehmer brand. But I don't know how widely they are distributed.

          A web search for mail-order might help too. I friend of mine - an absolutely terrific cook - recently did a buffet dinner and served a wonderful whole smoked ham that he had ordered from Michigan somewhere.

          I agree that investing a few hundred $ in a home electric slicer might be very worthwhile. Then you can marinate and roast things as you like them.

          1. re: mrbarolo

            With all due respect, I disagree about Molinari products. Today I returned some of their coppa for a refund...soft, gummy texture sold long before it had reached its proper aging. For $15.99/pound, one should expect a quality product, but unfortunately, time to market seems to have taken precedence over the proper aging process. Have also noticed this trend in their salami.

            1. re: Karen Lantz

              Thanks for the info. They are not as available here as they used to be when I worked for Convito Italiano here in Chi., so they may well have declined since I was seeing the product regularly. One forgets; time passes, things change.

      2. I like Applegate Farms products. Good quality, no nitrates, and organic. Their products can be found at Whole Foods and Central Market.

        1. If you are lucky enough to be living near a Wegmans - shop their deli for cold cuts - they have the best (lowest sodium) cooked ham that I have ever found.

          1. Thumann's is the best. Better than Boars Head, Dietz and Watson, Karl Ehmer's, and even the butcher shops and pork stores I've been to. Their German style hot dogs are the best I've had and I've sampled a couple of hundred.