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Old 09-09-2006, 05:07 AM   #1
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Who's the Beef?

This may or may not sound like a strange question and there may or may not be a strange answer but I'm going to ask anyway even though I'm not sure I want to know lol.

I'm wondering what might be considered or called "beef"? I live in Bulgaria for now and I swear the ground beef they offer up is soooo inconsistant with texture and taste that I just wonder what it is I'm really eating or if they are adding things to it or some such crazy thing. They have one packaged ground beef here that is available in a few of the chain supermarkets and some of the small ones, and I swear it tastes like it has garlic and a few other spices in it and it looks like it's been "glazed" with something. It looks shiny. The ingredients say it's beef and "proteins". Other packaged meats I have bought that DON'T say "proteins" taste pretty normal. Some ground beef I bought last week that they have in the butcher case already ground was kind of odd as well. Normally the beef I buy in this big European chain is sort of large in size. Kind of like it need to go through the grinder twice. It also often is rubbery when I cook it and has all kinds of little balls of gristle and god knows what else. I'm a ultra picky eater and it really grosses me out. But, this last week, it was ground smaller in size and when I cooked it, it broke up so easily (for taco meat) but was very dark brown in color. It tasted fine all spiced up but when I made hamburgers, it was weird. I noticed when I was making the patties, it had absolutely no smell except a slight "buttery" smell. No meat smell at all. It tasted like meat of course but it was just weird lol, not like the regular cuts. I do my best to have meat ground for me, although I have no idea what the cuts are and not all the stores around where I live now do it or even have beef when I want it. Bottom line is, what can a store get away with calling "beef" ? Any and all advice on this subject will be appreciated. I can't wait to get back to the good ol' USA !!!!


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Old 09-09-2006, 05:39 AM   #2
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it sounds like it`s probably Soya protein with a yeast extract added for a "Beef"(ish) type flavour.

Katherine Snow. xx
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Old 09-09-2006, 05:48 AM   #3
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I'd say Where's the beef??
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:44 AM   #4
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Either the protein as YT said (the stuff they use in some meat replacing foods and non-beef beef stock) or protein as they use in the chicken industry. In which case they drench the cuts of meat in a mix of water and protein. The meat sucks up the water and gains up to 1/3 in weight. I can't say for sure it realy is the latter, but I wouldn't exclude the possibility either.
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Old 09-09-2006, 05:27 PM   #5
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I would have thought that Bulgaria would be trying to keep in line with EU rules as they are desperate to join asap!

Sounds like their rules governing food labelling may have a way to go before it is in line with EU states!
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Old 09-09-2006, 05:44 PM   #6
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I'd avoid it -- I don't eat anything that seems off in any way because, as I've said before, I've had food poisoning three times in my life and it is not fun!

How's the other beef? Could you buy something like a chuck roast or bottom round and grind your own meat? At least you would know it's meat!
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:40 AM   #7
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Hades, would that make it taste garlicky or spicy?

FryBoy, as I said, meat here is very inconsistant no matter where you buy it or in what form. Beef is not that well liked here. Pork is the popular meat here. And the way they cut the meat, I can't tell what it is. The names are even more confusing as they are in Bulgarian and are translated as to where they are located on the body of the cow. To be honest, I don't know where any of the cuts are that I love lol. All I know is, Filet Mignon, T-Bone, New York Steak, etc lol. I know hamburger is from different areas and I know what I like in that respect too and can recognise the taste when I get meat ground up here but before I have it ground, I don't know what it is lol.

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