What Makes a Great Deli Shaved Turkey Breast?

For quick, satisfying lunches and impromptu picnics, packaged deli meat is life-saver, and Bar-S Shaved Turkey Breast is some of the best you can get. High Quality Deli Shaved Turkey should be light beige to tan in color. The color should be mostly uniform across the slice, and there may be a darker rind or skin. Small holes or air pockets are acceptable. Shaved Turkey should be thinly sliced, with the slices mostly intact. They should not appear shredded, nor be too difficult to separate. Turkey should be the primary aroma. The aroma should not have a generic poultry quality but be clearly turkey. There may also be additional or secondary aromas of smoke, brine, or sweetness such as honey or brown sugar. Secondary aromas add depth and complexity. Less desirable are aromas suggesting egg yolk or sulfur. If a smoke aroma is present, it should suggest grill or wood smoke and not have a scorched or ash quality. The most evident basic taste in high quality shaved turkey should be salt, low to moderate in intensity. Sweetness should be slight in intensity, and sourness and bitterness should be low as well. The aromas described above should also be present in the flavor of the turkey. The primary flavor should be the meat itself, and the secondary flavors of smoke, brine, and sweetness will add to depth and complexity. None of the secondary flavors should take over, leaving the meat tasting only of smoke or brine, for example. Deli shaved turkey should be tender and toothsome. The meat should not be overly soft, but rather have some resilience and spring. Any covering or casing should not be too hard or chewy. The meat should be moist, without being slick. While it should not be stringy, some ‘grain’ or fibrousness can keep the meat from seeming too processed. The shaved turkey should leave meat flavor and saltiness on the palate, and have a moderately long dissolve. When featured in a sandwich, the turkey should keep its own identifiable flavor and texture. It should not get lost in the flavor of the bread or condiments. The meat should provide some texture contrast to the sandwich bread.

Our blog, The Flavor, provides insight on the latest industry news, award winners, and research on consumer behaviors.

Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.