Saturday, March 14, 2020

Adventures in cheap packaged foods: generic canned pork

Four years ago I reported on some canned foods I bought in Mexico. I knew nothing about them beforehand and they turned out to taste pretty good. And I didn’t get sick or die. You can read about them here and here.

Well, I’ve decided to do similar reviews of the overstocked/off-brand/possibly expired food I got at the discount markets in Quartzsite.

First up is a can of pork, fully cooked, in its own juices, with salt. A buck for a pound and a half of meat? Worth a try.

Fork-tender chunks of meat and fat. About what I expected. The “juices” were in the bottom of the can, along with some coagulated fat. This is something you’d definitely want to heat up, but I tasted a piece to see if it was worth getting out the stove and dirtying a pan.

It tasted like…… pork. Really bland pork. That’s a good thing. It could’ve tasted bad, or like something other than pork. It could’ve been too salty. I tasted another piece. Yeah, really bland pork. So I heated some up.

Heat melted down some of the fat and spread its flavor around. (Come on, we all know we love pork for the fat.) That was better. I added a little salt. That was much better. And some pepper. Yeah, good.

Add barbecue sauce and this stuff would make a decent pulled pork sandwich, without all the hours of pit roasting. Or it could stand in as carnitas in various Mexican dishes. Or get some of the six-packs-for-a-dollar gravy mixes, some remaindered instant mashed potatoes, and a can of your favorite past-freshness-date vegetables from the same market. A proper cafeteria meal. The can suggests salads, soups, stews, casseroles, meat pies... Go for it.


  1. My Mom used to get pork like that. She'd drain the juices to make soup then heat the pork in BBQ sauce for sandwiches. Her neighbors raved about her BBQ sandwiches.

  2. I can remember just placing the can of meat in boiling water to heat it up...No pan-pot to wash.....Same with chili...

    1. I've done that, but I didn't want to heat the whole can just for a taste test.