Sunday, April 15, 2012

Goodbye, Old Brand

I don't know what they've done to it. I grew up enjoying Armour Corned Beef Hash as an occasional treat; my Mom would bake it with eggs on top for a light Sunday supper (family of five, one can of the stuff). In later life, I kept it as a kind of standby food -- I like it, it stays good on the shelf and it lends itself to various additions -- onion and scrambled egg, perhaps?

Over the years, I'd gravitated to other brands; the Other Guys put up corned beef hash in smaller cans, more suited to feeding one or two people.

Yesterday, Tam made a "mercy mission" run to the store and picked up a couple of cans of the stuff; being a wise shopper, she studied unit costs and which brands were offering loyalty-card discounts and came home with a couple of cans of Armour brand Corned Beef Hash. It looked like the best choice.

I'm disappointed. Maybe it's just the can I opened. I hope so but I certainly don't know what they have done to this classic. Instead of the solid chunk of stuff found in various competing versions, it flowed sluggishly out of the can, turning quite liquidish when heated and emitting a funny, sweet smell in addition to the usual corned beef hash aroma. It didn't cook down much, becoming a kind of meat paste with cubes of potato embedded in it, and it didn't brown at all.

Couldn't tell you about taste or mouth feel. I didn't eat it. Just couldn't bring myself to try. I'm confident it's okay to eat but it wasn't anything I cared to consume.

Dear Armour, if this represents what you are selling as CBH these days, you might want to rethink it. I love the stuff and I used to love your brand of it; after this morning, you've lost me.

Sic transit glorioski mundi.

16 comments:

Keads said...

What? This truly sucks out loud and off key. Might as well whip out the MRE's for a substitute.

Well, there is at least SPAM left. I hope. I will test that theory soon.

dakotas5 said...

Pink Slime with taters.Started makin' my own a few years ago after noticing the same problem.

Stranger said...

I had the same experience. I don't know what they have done to a fine product, but it is awful.

Or, more correctly, offal. Even the dog that eats everything gave it a pass.

Stranger

Paul, Dammit! said...

Increased filler content. Considering that CBH is mostly floor sweepings, that says a lot. To me, it's always smelled like dog food.

MSgt B said...

I feel you.

I always have a few cans on the shelf. It's a staple.

but I use Libby's. Haven't noticed any problems.

Hmmmm...breakfast time!

Anonymous said...

Mary Kitchen from the people who give you SPAM. Still as thick as dog food, and tasty, too. hormelfoods.com/brands/hormel/hormelhash.aspx

Anonymous said...

Oh my...it sounded like you were describing a decomposing body....it is probably a Good Thing you didn't even taste that stuff

Anonymous said...

A decomposing body with cubes of potato? Yum?

Anonymous said...

The Aldi's brand,(Brookdale),is pretty good.

Corned beef hash and cheese omlets, almost as good as bacon.

Dennis the librarian shusher

Guffaw in AZ said...

Had a similar experience with Farmer John's breakfast sausage. Was once delish, now crap.
Gotta maximize the profit, I suppose.

Jerry said...

Got this from Google, do yourself a favor and ignore the ads.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/sc-food-1014-prep-corned-20111019,0,2034985.story

Anonymous said...

Progresso soups have done similarly, just dilute things and "nobody will notice". I used to consider them a premium brand, now they're just expensive for what they are.

Roberta X said...

(I do know how to make corned beef -- but it takes rather longer than I have in the morning, even starting with an uncooked but pre-corned brisket)

IMO, hash made with corned beef I have cooked is definitely superior; even thick-cut deli corned beef doesn't work as well.

Like many commenters, I think the Hormel/Mary Kitchen brand is probably the best on the market at present.

Jeffro said...

It sure isn't the stuff from several years ago - one used to be able to slide the chunk from the can, slice it and fry it right up. Now, it all falls apart and does funny things to the ol' digestive system.

Bah.

docjim505 said...

I love corned beef. I love corned beef hash. Tried a can of Armor a few years ago. Wouldn't feed it to my dog.

'nuff said.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

OHMAGAW!

I was depressed over this story about Armour. I too had fond memories at Grammy's house. But I had half a can of Bully Beef, and 2 medium potatoes...

After a 5 minute boil, I put the tiny cut up tater in hot bacon grease with cubes of the corned beef. A bit of salt, a lotta pepper... OH MY! That's the flavor!

The only thing wrong with it is it didn't come in can sized patties. Thanks for inspiring me to try.