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Old 06-13-2019, 03:30 PM   #1
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Is it just me...

Isit just me, or has meat lost must of its rich flavor? Beef, Pork, chicken. at least from the shoppping chans, just down't have much flavor anymore. I used to buy beef from a placde called "Iowa Meat Farms Outlet, in San Diego, andEl Cajon. The beef was corn-fed Iowa beef, and was both tender, and had a rich, beefy flavor. The same was true of the other meats that they sold as well. I wonder if it's because the animals are pasture grased, and grass fed, often times never tasting grain. I believe corn-finished bef has a richer, flavor, as do hogs, and poultry. Maybe my tongue is getting too old, though things like liver, and offal in general still taste the same to me. Lamb is great, as is venison, and ruffed grouse still tastes a bit gamey. But that's ok as I enjoy the gamey flavor.

So what do you all think? Is massmarket meat less flavorful than it was 30 years back?

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Old 06-13-2019, 03:55 PM   #2
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I had the meat grinder to my KA mixer. I used to buy a 7 bone piece of meat. The cheapest piece there is but the tastiest one. It was what I always ground up for my hamburger. (I saved the bone for beef stew.) And it is always tasty. Unfortunately for me, The KA became to cumbersome and difficult to use. So I had to give it to Spike.

Today, I just don't eat hamburger anymore. I refuse to buy what is in the meat department already ground. Spike's godfather was a meat cutter for Stop and Shop and when he told me about some of the things that went on in that back room I stopped buying pre-ground beef.

You are right Chief. The flavor has gone out of the meat. I used to love pork chops. Not now. It has absolutely no flavor. It is like eating the sawdust that is on the floor in the back room of the meat department.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:02 PM   #3
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I agree with you, for sure, and one problem you don't mention, that is happening with pork and chicken (I haven't seen it in other meats, but I'm sure it will happen, eventually) is "water added". It's hard to find those in some stores, that hasn't been brined.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:09 PM   #4
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That would explain why meat is seldom very tasty from restos, nowadays. I buy almost only locally produced meat from smallish farms and it tends to be tasty.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:26 PM   #5
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I agree with you, for sure, and one problem you don't mention, that is happening with pork and chicken (I haven't seen it in other meats, but I'm sure it will happen, eventually) is "water added". It's hard to find those in some stores, that hasn't been brined.
That water is added to increase the weight. Specially with the chickens. I have noticed whole chickens sitting in the meat counters with water in the container that has leaked out of the chicken. I prefer to buy just the legs and thighs. Less water in those. And I am not an eater of white meat of any fowl. Too bland for me.

I hate shopping for meat. It is such a hassle now-a-days. Oddly enough, I go for the beef that is Manager's Specials. A lot of time they are on the last day of "Sell By" date. And when I see the meat is darker, I know most of the juices has be reabsorbed back into the meat. Tastier.

They don't remove the original wrapper, just put a new wrapper over it, and then slap a new and different sticker on it.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:41 PM   #6
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Most mass-market supermarket meat has a pretty low WOW factor for me.

These days I eat much less but more expensive meat and fill in with a few meatless or low meat meals to make up the difference.

It reminds me more of the pattern that my mother used when we were kids. A great Sunday dinner followed by a couple of scrappy meals then a bright spot mid-week followed by a couple more scrappy meals and before you knew it the week was over and it was time for another great Sunday dinner.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:50 PM   #7
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I too have noticed a loss of flavor in meats..
I have attributed it to my aging but, I'm not certain that is correct..

Ross
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:06 PM   #8
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That's aging like a fine steak, right Ross?

Chief, I agree. Especially with beef. Most of the time, the meat I'm using is mixed with so many other flavors it doesn't matter if the flavor is a bit less prominent. But when it comes to a steak, I like heading to a local butcher who raises his own cattle. His pork is pretty good, too, since he has a friend who raises hogs. But steak? It has to be flavorful. Any steak from my butcher Rick is worth twice the price of what he charges. Just don't tell him I said that.

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Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
I agree with you, for sure, and one problem you don't mention, that is happening with pork and chicken (I haven't seen it in other meats, but I'm sure it will happen, eventually) is "water added". It's hard to find those in some stores, that hasn't been brined.
When it comes to mass grocery store chicken, I have found out that Price Chopper does not add water to its boneless-skinless breasts. I would think that would be true of their thighs, too. The label clearly states that it can retain up to something like 1 1/2% water. However, most other stores labels state "up to 15% sodium solution to enhance moisture". Um, I know that means you're charging me $2/lb for water, ya know?

The tiny, one-off store in the next town sells pork tenderloin in cryovac sleeves that is "minimally processed - no added ingredients". The name is "Today's Cut" and is sold by Pine Ridge Farms in Des Moines, IA.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
That water is added to increase the weight. Specially with the chickens.
No, the brine is added to help the meat stay juicy, especially if it's overcooked. It's no different from brining it at home.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:33 PM   #10
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Sorry to say this, Chief, but flavor perception does dull as people age. There could also be some nostalgia associated with memories of meals from years ago that affect perception.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
That water is added to increase the weight. Specially with the chickens.
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
No, the brine is added to help the meat stay juicy, especially if it's overcooked.
...
Addie gave the reason. GotGarlic gave the rationalization.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
Isit just me, or has meat lost must of its rich flavor? Beef, Pork, chicken. at least from the shoppping chans, just down't have much flavor anymore. I used to buy beef from a placde called "Iowa Meat Farms Outlet, in San Diego, andEl Cajon. The beef was corn-fed Iowa beef, and was both tender, and had a rich, beefy flavor. The same was true of the other meats that they sold as well. I wonder if it's because the animals are pasture grased, and grass fed, often times never tasting grain. I believe corn-finished bef has a richer, flavor, as do hogs, and poultry. Maybe my tongue is getting too old, though things like liver, and offal in general still taste the same to me. Lamb is great, as is venison, and ruffed grouse still tastes a bit gamey. But that's ok as I enjoy the gamey flavor.

So what do you all think? Is massmarket meat less flavorful than it was 30 years back?

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Most people prefer the taste of corn fed beef. It is really bad for the animal, but people in the cattle industry like the quick fattening of the animal, and peoplewho eat beef like the taste, so who cares about the animal. Just stick 'em in a feed lot, pump them full of antibiotics, and everybody's happy.

Nolan Ryan and his kids are ranchers, and I have mentioned their hot dogs before, but their steaks are excellent, too. Their beef is grass fed start to finish, and it tastes great, to me.

BTW, I don't know how old you are, but out sense of taste does diminish as we age, just like our eyesight and hearing.

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Old 06-13-2019, 07:14 PM   #13
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No, the brine is added to help the meat stay juicy, especially if it's overcooked. It's no different from brining it at home.
There's a big difference, or rather, differences! First, what if somebody can't add sodium to their diet? I'm not one of those, but there are many out there. Or you might want to be adding the sodium in another form, such as soy, or another flavorful way. And last, but not least, who wants to pay for salt water? This is the real reason, of course, that they do this.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:18 PM   #14
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No, the brine is added to help the meat stay juicy, especially if it's overcooked. It's no different from brining it at home.
The primary reason for "enhanced" chicken and pork is to squeeze a few more pennies per pound out of the product. Improving the tenderness and juiciness of low quality meat is a secondary reason.

Ask a butcher. A real, professional butcher. That's what I did.

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Old 06-13-2019, 07:21 PM   #15
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addie gave the reason. Gotgarlic gave the rationalization.
+1

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Old 06-13-2019, 07:50 PM   #16
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Regarding pork:
I thought there was a long agreed upon consensus that pork has become less flavorful in large part because it is so much more lien than it used to be, and that was due to marketing decisions related to poultry competition.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:18 PM   #17
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Regarding pork:
I thought there was a long agreed upon consensus that pork has become less flavorful in large part because it is so much more lien than it used to be, and that was due to marketing decisions related to poultry competition.
You may be right -- I don't know. I know that pork can be cooked to lower temperatures these days, compared to when I was a kid in the 60s. That sure helps with the tenderness and juiciness. Maybe there is a tradeoff. Maybe we lost some flavor. But, I grew up eating dry, tough pork chops, so overall, I'm happy with how things have changed.

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Old 06-13-2019, 09:16 PM   #18
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As a kid, every Fall we would bring the two sows up to Touro on Cape Cod to have them slaughtered and processed. They came back with a lot of fat on them. Some of that fat was rendered for other uses. I can still remember the taste of the baked ham we would eat on a holiday. My job was to get a pail of water and the scrub brush and make sure all the mold was gone. They were hung from the main rafter in the barn when we went to retrieve them and stayed there until Easter. Each year there were four hams. Easter was the first ham. By Thanksgiving, they was one left and that one was for Christmas.

After that it was mostly Sunday roast chicken. My job for that meal was to hold the dang chicken so she could get her head cut off. Never the rooster. He was needed for the new chicks that would come along.

They were Rhode Island Red chickens. A very common breed.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:18 AM   #19
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Addie gave the reason. GotGarlic gave the rationalization.
People are so cynical these days.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:22 AM   #20
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Regarding pork:
I thought there was a long agreed upon consensus that pork has become less flavorful in large part because it is so much more lien than it used to be, and that was due to marketing decisions related to poultry competition.
I believe you're right. When we were in Ireland in 200ě, the pork was much more fatty and tasted very good. Funny thing was that we saw flocks of sheep roaming everywhere, but I never saw any pigs
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