I am a Failure at Meat Trapezoids

Or, damn you Brazilian canned corned beef!

pampa corned beef in a can

Pampa canned corned beeef

What: a can of Pampa brand canned corned beef, a product of Brazil. It says the meat used is 100% beef, which makes one thing that somebody is trying to be cute with descriptions. Okay, the meat is 100% beef but what of the other organic ingredients?

The backstory: I bought it at Big Lots. $1.30! What a steal. I’ve no idea why it ended up there; I wish Big Lots were the kind of store where the employees would write cutesy little stories about the food on index cards, liberally illustrated with flowers and smiling suns, and hang them in lieu of boring price tags. That’s the kind of stuff I used to do when I worked at the hippy health food store back in the day and look at me now! Still in the food industry, still using narrative to connect people with food.

But then, you know, I guess Big Lots would be very expensive with hand illustrated histories of each product, although now that I think more about it, hippy health food store only paid minimum wage so for the price of one surly employee you could surely hire one overwrought, slightly spoiled, moderately affected one.

can with a key to open

Of course, the real reason I bought this was not because canned meat is pretty much the bread and butter of the grody food industry but because you open the can with a key! I haven’t had mystery loaf of meat in a tin that you open with a key since the late 1970s!

Let’s see, I think I remember how to do this…

Hmmm, are you supposed to remove the label from a can before opening it with a winding key? At this point I was becoming concerned as I was on my front porch and a tow truck was right in front of my house and I felt like the driver was judging me. I mean, it’s not like he was repossessing my car or anything, so who cares what he thinks? Well, me, I guess. Also, the mailman hadn’t been yet and he tends to come mid-afternoon on Mondays.

Yikes, this doesn’t look too promising.

And just like that I snapped the thin metal winding strip in two and came face to face with the reality that my dream of triumphantly lifting off the top to reveal a perfect trapezoid of meat was not to be, at least not today.

The edge of the can was razor sharp so I had to be careful in trying to get the meat out. I decided it was best to go ahead and try the corned beef now, before who knows disgusting thing could happen.

The taste? You know, I have to tell you, that it’s surprising how many of these canned foods I try have no real taste at all. I was expecting this to be salty like spam or that canned corned beef hash, but mostly it tasted weakly of pasty, stringy beef. I would have preferred it to taste foul as that would have at least been interesting.

I decided to go to the shed out back to find a hacksaw and get this opened and over with since the tow truck driver was still in front of my house and I was getting super nervous about my mailman walking in on me messing with my beef.

But upon arriving at the shed, I realized that only crazy, low class people use hacksaws to open cans on their front porch and plus, I am afraid of encountering a deranged hobo every time I walk into our shed, so I just grabbed the first thing I saw that looked like it might work, which happened to be a thingamabob that my mom bought me to prune crap. Yeah, like that ever happened.

Don’t worry about it being dirty, remember, I tried the corned beef in the last picture up there. That’s why I’m the pro, I can anticipate problems that might occur in the future and find ways to sidestep them.

Finally, success but this was not the preserved meat trapezoid of my dreams.

Never let it be said that I’m afraid to get my hands dirty in pursuit of my goals.

And finally, the upright tower of beefmeal has a companion!

Topped with B’lard! I wonder if that solid white fat is suet, although I seem to remember suet is only the fat that surrounds the cow’s kidneys or something gross like that. Then again, you know, that sounds very British to me and my ancestors didn’t fight their tushes off for me to have to let British people push me around when it comes to terms for fat so suet it is!


PS If you want to see more, full sized image visit the Brazilian Corned Beef in a Can set on Flickr.

Also, if anyone wants some weak ass canned beef that doesn’t even deserve to be called corn, you are welcome to drop by! We’ve got plenty!

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