Monday, February 11, 2013

Tales Of Cured Meats

They say the palate develops with age but tis true I have liked cured meat since childhood: pepperoni, summer sausage, beef jerky and so on. There have been a few defining cured meat moments. One was when my Frosted Miniwheat a.m. ritual was blown away in Germany. I was offered pepperoni, cheese and bread for breakfast. A people who began the day with pepperoni? Swoon.
Another chapter was when the salty beast went into hibernation while I was a vegetarian for a several years. Except for the occasional breakfast sausage (I could only go so far) I was pretty much meat free.  
A few years ago I visited Palmyra, PA. In a blue collar PA neighborhood that smelled funny and where the houses looked really run down my vegetarianism went up in smoke. Literally.  

Turned out these pungent and charred smokehouses are a staple of the Dutch Seltzer's Lebanon Bologna.  One of the last meat smokehouses in the USA according to Dirty Jobs. And the home to some old-school kick-butt cured meat!

You may want to sit down for this. Their gift shop is also a THRIFT STORE. Smoked meats and bargains? I was a convert. Meatless no more. This wonderful bologna awakened the Pepperidge Farm memories and brought back my inner meat loving child. Less than 4 miles from Hershey, PA it's definitely worth a visit and a taste. 

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