Different Kinds of Lunch Meat

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To make a filling sandwich, one of the most important aspects many would say is the lunch meat. Also referred to as cold cuts and deli meats, lunch meats come in a variety of different cuts, flavors, blends and anything else you can think of. There are some basic lunch meats, however, that are familiar to many.


Ham is thought to be one of the oldest deli meats known to mankind according to FoodReference.com. The ham that is mostly consumed as deli meat is cut from the forelegs of a pig while country ham, said by many to be true ham, is cut from the hind legs. Both types are cured using the same process, while country ham has a more dry and sharp flavor due to the salt used in curing.


Turkey is a popular deli white meat known for its low fat and high protein. Turkey has also been shown to have various health benefits, such as a decrease in colon cancer. Turkey is usually served sliced and is also a staple of holidays, like Thanksgiving. Also, contrary to popular belief, turkey does not make you sleepy. More than likely, higher sleep levels are from that large meal you ate during the holidays.


Salami is another deli meat that has a long history and is said to date back more than 2,000 years as the finding of a fermented sample suggests. Salami is traditionally made from pork but can also be made with beef. Salami is valued because of its high protein content, relatively cheap cost and long shelf life due to the curing process. Salami is usually cured with a plethora of spices and salts which give it a distinct flavor.


Bologna originates from the Italian city bearing the same name. This sausage from Bologna, Italy, actually called Mortadella, is smoked, studded with pork fat cubes and flavored with pistachios, peppercorn and green olives. American bologna originates from Lebanon County in Pennsylvania. It is a smoked, cured all beef sausage that has a tangy flavor. Some would say that America bologna does not compare at all to Italian. Nevertheless it is a cheap, filling lunch meat.