Do you know how hard it is to find deli meat that is made without added nitrates and nitrites, AND comes from animals that aren’t administered hormones or antibiotics? Let me tell you, it is really hard. That is why I was elated to discover Applegate Farms. All of their deli meats (whether labeled as organic or “natural”) meet these criteria, and thankfully, they are all delicious.
My first discovery of Applegate Farms was when they appeared on sale at my local Wild Oats (now Whole Foods). These days, Whole Foods is still the easiest place to find their meats, but they are starting to pop up in other grocers, and you can purchase them online.
Admittedly, they do come at a price premium, but since we don’t use deli meat every day, and the quality is so much higher, I can justify the occasional purchase.
Most recently, I sampled three different varieties of their deli meat:
Antibiotic-Free Herbed Turkey – This twist on plain old turkey deli meat has a unique but delicious herb flavor that took my truly homemade sandwich (even the bread was baked from scratch) to another level. I loved that this meat wasn’t overly salty and had a nice clean taste. It was a 7-oz package, with each slice weighing in at 1 oz – making it really easy to portion, and the perfect thickness. Seriously, this turkey meat put those low quality brands to shame.
Ingredients: Turkey, Water, Sodium Lactate (From Beets), Salt, Carrageenan (From Seaweed), Pepper, Parsley, Onions, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme.
Organic Roasted Chicken – Once again, I loved the clean taste of this meat. It seemed just a touch sweeter and saltier than the Herbed Turkey, but still delicious and well balance in flavor nonetheless. Rather than 1-oz slices, this 7-oz package contained smaller, circular slices of the meat. My main complaint was that the slices were very hard to separate and tended to fall apart. This was a bit of problem in dividing it up to make sandwiches, so I spread the smaller pieces out onto some homemade spelt tortillas and made roll-ups out of them.
Organic Chicken Breast, Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Sodium Lactate (From Beets), Organic Honey, Salt, Organic Potato Starch, Carrageenan (From Seaweed).
Antibiotic-Free Roast Beef – This product really goes the extra mile. Beef is notorious for coming from cows that were treated with hormones, but not this product. The livestock at Applegate Farms is not treated with hormones or antibiotics and is grass fed – whether or not it is labeled as organic! Like the other two, this was a top quality meat and it tasted like it; perfect for a French dip, or served on toasted sourdough with lettuce and tomatoes (as we enjoyed it). Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture for this meal!
Ingredients: Beef, Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Sodium Lactate (From Beets), Salt, Coated With Salt And Pepper.