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Do you buy the pre-sliced deli meats/cheeses at the Supermarket deli counter.....

More and more supermarkets are pre-slicing or "shaving" the popular brands of cold cuts for quick sale at the deli- I prefer my deli meats/ cheese to be sliced fresh- something about this pre-sliced stuff that's been sitting in a bin all day with how many hands and other matter in and out of the case.....But lately I notice "attitude" from the deli staff when i ask for it to be freshly sliced......Pardon me for the inconvenience but with most of this hovering around $8 a pound and higher, please slice it for me when I ask, rather than the pre-sliced trafe you are trying to pawn off on me.............am I being picky or do you agree??

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  1. To me it would depend on the store. I wouldn't (and don't) buy the pre-sliced in any of my local stores, the deli sections are usually ghost towns. That said, the deli department of my favourite grocer where I used to live (Thrifty Foods in Tsawwassen, BC) was always extremely busy and I was assured that everything in the case, presliced or not, was always fresh. I never thought twice about being served presliced meats from their case. All depends on the store.

    1. I would rather not buy pre-sliced deli meats, because in most cases, seeing the whole sausage or ham, whatever, can be very instructive, as in "hey, that meat never came from a pig or any other animal I know of". We have an Italian restaurant supplier in Santa Monica called Guidi Marcello. There they slice imported meats and vacuum pack them for sale. Them, I trust!

      1. I won't buy pre-sliced deli meat. However, Land o Lakes American cheese for the kids is a different matter. The slices that are presliced are evn and don't break apart when pulling off the stack. The cheese when sliced by the deli help is often too thin or brittle. I don't want uneven pieces when making sandwiches for the kids.
        The supermarket I use for deli, often advertises pre-sliced deli items at very low prices. If you want sliced to order you pay more, as the store's cost are more. Last wek I was happy to pay $2.99 lb for pre sliced Land o Lakes American, it certainly wasn't worth $4.99 lb to have it sliced to order.

        1. Meat ends from the deli counter; much cheaper and we often wind up w/ good meats that we wouldn't normally buy like liverworst, corned beef and pastrami. But shhh, don't tell anyone.

          1. Nope. Absolutely refuse to. The exposed surfaces dry out and also provide a tasty platform for germ growth.

            Fortunately the store 3 blocks from the house has a decent deli counter where they slice to order, and they do a brisk enough business that the meat and cheese are fresh.

            1. I buy most of my cooked meat sliced and vac-packed from the chiller shelves (I do this for longer life at home).

              My normal supermarket does not generally pre-slice at the deli counter (but does for a few fast turnover items - roast ham, tongue and the like)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Harters

                Just to add, sliced cheese is not common where I am.

                You see it in Dutch and Belgian supermarkets where it's pre-sliced as a breakfast item. And, in the UK, you do see pre-sliced vac-packed Dutch cheeses (and a couple of other very mild cheeses).

                I think if I went to the deli counter and asked them to slice some cheese, then I would get some very strange looks.

              2. Never. Aside from the fact that they'd be more dried out and quicker to spoil, my local supermarket tends to preslice only the cheap stuff, which I wouldn't buy anyway. Plus I like certain items sliced thicker than the general public seems to (and from some reason the presliced stuff is usually even thinner than average).

                1. I do not. My husband always does. Though I am going to try the Land-O-Lakes American cheese after reading Bagelman's post.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                    Re: the American cheese question, you could do what I do and simply ask for it to be sliced thickly. The slices don't stick together when they're not razor-thin, and you'll get fresher cheese than buying the pre-sliced, pre-packaged stuff.

                    1. re: BobB

                      I also recommend the Land O Lakes White American Cheese if you like american cheese from the deli. Skip the Orange. The orange is just Artificial Food Coloring. Just ask to slice how you want (inch thick or whatev).

                      There is a huge difference in taste between American Cheese (ie Land O Lakes) that you purchase at the deli versus plastic wrapped processed cheese singles.

                      1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                        YUP...totally agree..I haven't bought orange American cheese in about 25 years! Land O'Lakes is good quality BUT...it tastes very salty!!!!! I really only buy it for my son, 25, who is still in college and working p-t in concrete, heavy work....for li'l ole me, I try to stick to goat cheese if I really need some cheese, LOLZ!

                    2. re: Janet from Richmond

                      I just finished making my shopping list from the Market Basket circular, as I shop in Massachusetts Thursday before returning home to the family in CT each week.

                      This week they have the Land O Lakes presliced American Cheese @ 3.59 lb. I know that it will be fresh-they sell a fantastic amount, and it will be sliced a uniform thickness that won't crumble or fall apart.

                      It's important to note that there ios a big difference between presliced by the manufacturer and presliced by the store. Here, Land O lakes preslices the cheese and seals it in 5lb bricks.

                      I wouldn't consider the presliced shaved meats that are cut by the store and sit uncovered in the deli cases.

                    3. I happily buy pre-sliced from a really really busy place that has such a high turnover that you KNOW the stuff is fresh... our supermarket does not preslice and if they did I wouldn't want it because goodness knows how long it had been sitting there. If I'm in too much of a hurry to wait for them to slice my lunchmeat, I'll buy one of the pre-made vacuum-sealed packets and know that it is still fresh inside!

                      1. For what they're charging for a pound of lunch meat/cheese I want it freshly sliced.

                        1. Wegmans preslices a few of their most popular items. Their deli counter is always mobbed so the stuff moves very fast.

                          My regular market (Harris Teeter) only slices to order.

                          1. <the pre-sliced trafe you are trying to pawn off on me>

                            The word you're looking for is "dreck." If the meat & cheese are keeping company in the deli case, they're trafe whether sliced or not.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: small h

                              hahaha Thanks small h i appreciate your etymological correction

                              for those not familiar with trafe and dreck, please check out the "Joy of Yiddish" by Rosten or simply google

                              1. re: paulispumonti

                                No problem! I'd hate to see you try to insult some deli meat and end up confusing it instead.

                              2. re: small h

                                And other than at kosher supermarkets, they're trayf regardless of how they are kept or sliced!

                                Mmmm, trayf....

                                Dreck? Pretty harsh!

                                1. re: Bob W

                                  <Dreck? Pretty harsh!>

                                  I'm always looking to expand my Yiddish vocabulary. Is there a gentler word that expresses paulispumonti's opinion of pre-sliced meat?

                                  1. re: small h

                                    Yiddish is a language of strong flavors. In this case I'd say dreck (literally $hit, though used much more broadly, as in English) is perfectly appropriate. But if you want to go gentler you might say chazzerai (pig slop) or mishegass (craziness, foolishness).

                                    1. re: BobB

                                      Hmmm. I use chazerai to describe something that's too busy or junky- looking, as in "Just put the sandwich on a plate - I don't need the parsley garnish and the melon slice and all that chazerai." And I've never heard mishegas used to refer to food, only general nuttiness like "I don't care if DiPalo's is the best pizza on the planet, I can't take the mishegas over there." This is what's evolved as standard usage among the people I talk to; I've no idea whether it's correct.

                                      1. re: small h

                                        You're using chazzerai correctly - its meaning today has spread to include anything messy or mildly disgusting.

                                        Mishegass can refer to anything at all - I'm not saying it should specifically refer to food, but it certainly can, in this instance.

                                        But really, dreck is fine. No need to futz with this fackockte concept ad infinitum. ;-)

                              3. I will buy the shrinkwrapped prosciutto-period, but mostly it cheeses me off to get attitude for asking for fresh. I figure that the presliced stuff is for when the deli people aren't on duty. If I get resistance I don't buy anything.

                                And for the snarky record, I never buy Boar's Head deli meats- I don't like them at all except for the natural skin hot dogs, and they aren't that good, I just can't get good natural casing hot dogs easily anywhere else locally. Althought I havn't looked, maybe that should be my next new post!