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What Is Old-Fashioned Loaf Luncheon Meat?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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An old-fashioned loaf of luncheon meat is a pork and beef blend that is seasoned with a select group of herbs and spices. The final product is formed into a shape that is similar to a loaf of bread, then smoked to allow the flavors to mingle. Still produced today, loaves of luncheon meat can be purchased at delicatessens and many supermarkets that carry a wide range of cold cuts. The loaf can be purchased whole, or sliced according to specifications. Thin slices of the old-fashioned loaf work well as cold cuts, while thicker slices may be cut into sections for use as an ingredient in stir-fry dishes or other hot recipes.

While the traditional blend of meat includes only pork and beef, an old-fashioned loaf today may also include turkey and chicken that has been artificially flavored to approximate the taste of ham. This approach can help to cut the amount of carbohydrates and cholesterol that is contained in the original recipe, while still preserving the somewhat coarse texture of the product. Since the old-fashioned loaf is fully cooked, it is possible to slice the meat for use in sandwiches. The sliced luncheon meat works very well in both hot and cold sandwiches.

Typically, the loaf is smoked as part of the preparation process. Hardwoods are the preferred fuel for smoking, since the wood helps to give the finished product a flavor that is unique among lunch meats. The amount of time spent smoking the old-fashioned load will vary, depending on the exact recipe used and the size of the loaf.

Known in some parts of the world as a Dutch loaf, the exact origins of the old-fashioned loaf are disputed. While some sources place the first pork and beef combination being served in the Netherlands, other traditions identify the United Kingdom or Germany is the country of origin. Regardless of the history behind this unique lunch meat, the old-fashioned loaf is now widely available around the world.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon999735 — On Mar 05, 2018

I have been looking for olive loaf and pickle/pimento loaf for years now and can't find it anywhere. It used to be available in every grocery store that had a deli counter. Have no idea what the heck happened.

By anon966836 — On Aug 22, 2014

In Montana, they used to sell this regularly at Wal-Mart up until a few years ago. Now I can't find it anywhere. Real shame since it's such good stuff.

By anon176437 — On May 15, 2011

My question also, found it at the H.E.B. store in New Braunfels, Tx. Wish I had bought a case of it and froze it to bring it back. I cannot find this item in NM.

By anon165455 — On Apr 05, 2011

I'm sitting here at 2:00 am chowing down on dutch loaf. We get ours from the deli or the Amish salvage store deli. Sounds funny typing that, but it's not really salvaged deli meats. Just wish they made dutch loaf with a thick rind like liver cheese. Yum!

By anon117386 — On Oct 10, 2010

Why can't I get old fashioned loaf here in Decatur, Al?

By istria — On Oct 09, 2010

This loaf luncheon meat sounds very similar to luncheon meats that I have had like pickle loaf, pimento loaf, and macaroni and cheese loaf. It is similar to bologna with different ingredients mixed in. I don't know how much I would enjoy these now, but I used to love them as a kid.

By Comparables — On Oct 09, 2010

@ Anon87460- I would recommend looking for an old fashioned deli. Something along the lines of a New York style deli, or a place that makes its own sausages and loaves. I have had cold cut sandwiches on the east coast that had Dutch loaf in it. Tasty stuff, but it can be hard to find.

By anon87460 — On May 30, 2010

Where in Las Vegas can a person purchase a lunch meat known as "old fashioned loaf" or "dutch loaf".

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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