I'm Eating What?! Jamaican Country Style Corned Beef in a Can From Brazil | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Ethical Eating

I'm Eating What?! Jamaican Country Style Corned Beef in a Can From Brazil

Let's start this one off with the label's conundrum. First we've got corned beef "with juices" from a brand called Jamaican Country Style. Do Jamaican country folk eat this stuff? Anyone? Bueller? And it's labeled "Product of Brazil." Hmmm. Do Jamaican country folk living in Brazil eat this stuff? Any Brazilian-Jamaicans willing to answer? 

Let's dig in while we await an answer. Uh, wait -- why is the pull-tab on the bottom? Hmmm. Well, since the little can was part of a "try this if you dare" gesture from my editor, it's anyone's guess as to whether the other little oblong cans of corned beef on the shelf where this gem came from also had this peculiarity. 

Also peculiar was this product's texture and color. 

It's not composed of little square chunks, dotted with bits of potato, like hash. Nope, it's little masticated-looking flecks of pink meat with a great degree of fatty bits keeping the lot together. Not the most beautiful presentation in the culinary world, but at least there were no bones, scales, or eyeballs to contend with. No juices either. It just tastes kinda salty and very, very fatty. Even leaves a thick film in the mouth. 

The label's serving suggestion is to slice the can's contents up and serve it on a bed of lettuce with some veggie accompaniments. Probably wouldn't have made a savory presentation on any typical American dinner table, but what the heck else does one do with the stuff then? Smash it between two loaves of rye and slap some deli mustard on it? Crumble it up with some diced spuds and try to pass it off as hash? 

There's an issue to be dealt with another time, once the Brazilian-Jamaicans chime in with suggestions.

Otherwise, who should eat this? Someone who likes their meat pre-chewed and feels Spam isn't overrated.

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Riki Altman

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