Shaved from boneless ham, cured with natural flavours and naturally wood smoked.
Shaved ham is one of my families fridge staples, with two children who enjoy it, we always have some on hand for sandwiches, pizzas, snacks and that last minute 'I have no meat to add to dinner!' moments. The packaging is nice and bright, it looks like something you'd grab to take on a picnic rather than lunches or snacks at home. At $3.49 for 200 grams, this is on par with other brands, so cost wouldn't stop me from buying this. The info at the back says that there will be four servings to enjoy, but the slices are big enough that if using them on crackers or the like, you could easily spread that out a little bit more than just four servings.
My ham hater did give this a try and stated that she didn't like it at all, so it wasn't tasty enough to convert her back to ham. My eldest gave this a go and decided that it tasted really good, he'd love to have me buy some again in the future. My youngest loves it to the point where it was hard for me to get any of it to try and she wants to buy a packet to enjoy all on her own. Trying it for myself, I found I liked the flavour better than other brands I've tried before. I had some crackers and tzatziki dip out and thought I'd give it a try and unlike other brands, I didn't need to add any other flavours to my meal, it was delicious. This was all gone before I could start thinking of other ways to use it, but it was a big hit compared to other brands so I know we will be buying this again.
One thing that has been made very apparent with this round of review products, is that I really had no idea how deli meats were made. One would have assumed that when you buy chicken, beef or ham slices, it was simply a cut of the meat sliced. There are definitely other types that seem clearly processed, but I was unaware of how much processing is actually involved. I found some interesting videos on YouTube about how deli meats are made. I did this because of one part of the ingredients list which piqued my curiosity; only 51% of my shaved leg ham was pork.
It's intriguing because I always wondered why certain ham slices were so much cheaper than other deli meats. I also was curious as to why sliced ham always had a wet texture to it. Turns out that these ham slices generally come from mincing pork meat, adding ice, additives, salts and/or spices, cooking and then slicing up for sale. So the lower amount of actual meat involved must have an effect on the cost involved to process and allowing a cheaper price (you can effectively get twice the weight of ham slices from the pork meat).
This country pride variety of shaved leg ham comes prepackaged which gives the product a longer shelf-life (though you still only get a few days once it has been opened, same as most meats. Comes in a thick plastic case, that can go in the old recycling bin after use and is sealed with a thin plastic sheet that comes off easily enough and without tearing so you can keep that meat fresh for a little longer by covering it back up between uses.
The size of the slices are actually quite small in diameter (maybe 7-8cm?) This does make the product not the best fit for sandwiches unless you are willing to cut/fold multiple slices for a single sandwich. That being said, when you have 200g of it, you have more than enough slices to make up for the smaller size, and the smaller size does make them easier to use for platters when entertaining.
The product is very thin but does not rip when you are trying to pull a piece out from the pack. It holds its shape really well. It is interesting to have a slight patterning on the meat, with a different variation of pink swirling in each slice if you look at them closely. The product has a good level of saltiness to it, which isn't too overbearing.
The product tastes good and comes with an interesting smaller size, and can be stored for longer than deli counter meat, which makes it a little more unique. Price-wise it is slightly on the high side, considering most supermarket delicatessens will have ham slices from 99c to $1.20 per 100g, where this product is around $1.75 per 100g. A great product if you can't actually go out shopping too often, as it can sit in the fridge for quite a while without going off. But supermarkets are easily accessible to me, so the price is more important than longevity.
Ham is more often than not a staple in our fridge, it's something that we always seem to have on hand, mostly used in sandwiches and wraps for a quick but delicious tasting lunch, much more exciting than Marmite or jam after all, especially if paired with some yummy sauces, vegetables, and cheese. I have seen the Country Pride brand a few times in my supermarket now but hadn't yet purchased as sometimes I prefer to just stick with the brand I know and trust, however seeing this up for review I thought it was the opportunity to try it out, which I'm very glad I did.
The ham comes in a 200gram pack, and has a 3-star health rating, which in my books isn't too bad as a sometimes food, it is gluten free which is great as there seem to be more and more people suffering from such allergies and intolerances these days. The labeling on the package is attractive and I love how the colours suggest fresh and natural, it also features an image of a picnic basket and I can imagine this ham going great in a packed picnic, so great advertising being used here! The bottom of the plastic package is clear so you can see the product before purchasing, another important thing that I go for when buying such things, and in this case, you can see there is a very generous amount of shaved leg ham.
Opening the pack for the first time I sampled a slice of the ham as did Miss 6 and my partner, we all loved the taste it was slightly sweet and the slightest bit smokey, it wasn't salty which I really liked, there is nothing worse than overly salted ham. I decided since it was almost lunchtime that it was the perfect time to try out the ham, I got out some wraps and spread some cranberry sauce over each one topping them all with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, cheese, and ham. The ham went perfectly with all of the ingredients and I loved that even though each wrap had 3 slices of the ham on each there was still a heap left.
For breakfast the next morning I decided to make some omelets up, I diced up several slices of the ham and added them to the egg mix with some torn spinach leaves and cheese. Again the ham worked amazingly adding a delicious amount of flavour, without taking away from the other ingredients. For the next few days, the family enjoyed ham sandwiches all which were gobbled up without any fuss by all who enjoyed them.
This ham is amazing value for money, and with a 3-day shelf life after opening, there is plenty of time to use it up. I will certainly recommend and buy this again.
The children loved this ham. It is lower in salt than most, and the slightly sweet flavour appealed to both of them. Miss Seven immediately decanted some of the slices into her lunchbox so she would have it ready to take to school next day if there was any left over. Unfortunately for her, there wasn't - with five of us testing it in two different ways, it all got used up.
We tried some first as part of a platter of hors d'oeuvres. We had some tiny red capsicums stuffed with cream cheese and a few black olives, so the ham was rolled and secured with toothpicks so it would look attractive beside them. That did not last long; by the time we had all tasted some there was none left! The adults liked it too - with two of us on a low salt diet anyway, it was nice to find a ham product that we could enjoy.
We put the rest on to pizza bases with pineapple, mozzarella cheese, and tomato paste, and heated it gently till the cheese had started to brown and the bases were cooked. Hawai'ian pizza is the children's favourite, but we all enjoyed it. Sometimes the pizzas made this way are too strong for the children but with this ham there was no fat or salt overload; just a delicious combination of mild, creamy topping and crisp base. Mr Nine was hungry but we still found there were two pieces left at the end of the meal.
Later that afternoon Mr Nine and I finished the cold slices. Cold pizza is either delicious or disgusting, depending on the original ingredients. In this case it was delicious. The ham flavour had intensified as the slices had cooled, and if anything they were even nicer cold. They would be excellent in a school lunchbox because they would travel well and hold their shape, and would provide a filling snack for a growing child on a cold day.
I thought the price was extremely good for a 200g pack. It was enough for the five of us, but if we had not used it in one go, an opened pack will keep for three days in the fridge. This is useful to know if there is ever any left over. Freezing is possible of course but that could affect the flavour; I would prefer to know there is an option to just use it up over a couple of days. And certainly, for anyone living on their own, this could be a selling point.
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"Ever notice that 'what the hell' is always the right decision?"
Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962)