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Jul 9, 2012 04:03 PM

ALL grocery store non-cured pork tasting like SAGE?

In the past few years, I've attempted to make several pork recipes usng ground pork/pork loin/pork chops from the grocery store, and, no matter what brand I get, it all tastes like it's been injected with some sort of sage (and saline) solution. I can work around the salt because I can just add less to the dish, but I'm really tired of flavoring the meat heavily, or marinating it for hours (even overnight), with things as strong as cumin/coriander/cloves/cinnamon//rosemary/red wine/garlic/etc., and STILL the sage flavor persists. I mean it overwhelms. It's not that I don't like sage, but it makes everything taste like breakfast sausage and Jimmy Dean-flavored larb (Thai) and adobo (Filipino) are NOT what I'm going for. Your thoughts on how this can be remedied--or brands I could look for that don't have this flavor? Thanks.

*note: Please don't tell me I need to pay $20.00+ a pound for some boutique or Niman-Schell (or other) type of organic pork because I live in the sticks and it's just not available here.

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  1. The supermarket I shop at sells generic, run-of-the-mill pork that tastes mildly like pork, and not at all like sage. The pork I buy is not injected with any solution, and the pork products that are injected with such a solution are clearly labeled. It tends to be the tenderloin that is sold pre-seasoned. In a moment of insanity I once purchased a pre-seasoned pork tenderloin---that stuff is terrible, awful, not fit for human consumption.

    If you read the labels it is pretty easy to avoid, but I have to stress the preponderance of pork sold at my market is plain unadulterated pork.

    1. *note please don't make sweeping generalisations that ALL grocery store non-cured pork tastes like sage. That implies every single one. Which is incorrect.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pj26

        Thanks for the daily dose of internet pedantry, but my point was that all the pork in the corporate chain grocery stores WHERE I NOW LIVE does taste like sage--and not just the stuff that's marked saying a flavor solution has been added. If I really thought that ALL pork in EVERY store in the world tasted like sage, why would I have posed the question asking where I might get the stuff that does not?

        1. re: staughton

          Perhaps if you expand on where you live now, I could help you. I live in London, UK so could recommend many places but not sure it that would help?

      2. Pork and sage, at least to my taste, share a good portion of the same odor spectrum. As we get older our receptors shift a bit - in some cases, as mine after years of a chronic rhinitis and too much nose-blowing, quite a lot. What I'm smelling these days, you might say, is the cartoon version of what I used to smell, as a lot of my receptors have gone dead (and they don't grow back, dammit). But even a slight shift can knock out a good bit of what one used to smell/taste, thus emphasizing what's still being perceived. What I'm getting at here is that Yes, pork tastes sage-y to me, too, and sage smells porky as well. It's not the pigs, it's my nose. Damn good thing I like sage.

        1. My mother is allergic to even a very little bit of sage. She gets pork chops from Costco, and pork tenderloins from either her local supermarket (SaveMart or Food Maxx) or from Fresh & Easy. She has never had a problem.

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