Mock chicken is a luncheon or sandwich meat that is exactly what it says it claims to be: Fake Chicken. While this sounds relatively unappetizing, it is one of my personal sandwich favorites. It tastes surprisingly like chicken, and the signature orange paprika rim has graced many a sandwich.

Mock chicken is a star of the modern industrial food market. Originally created in small delis, mock chicken loaf is a mixture of several meats, namely pork, beef and chicken, finely ground and cooked as a large deli loaf. This mixture is then cut into lunch meat. As anyone who buys lunch meat at a grocery store knows, sliced chicken and turkey are some of the most expensive deli meats available. Some crafty deli owner concocted a chicken substitute with less expensive pork and beef, touched it up some paprika and laughed all the way to the bank. Modern food producers have taken up this clever creation and produce it on a massive scale.

The typical ingredients of mock chicken are finely ground pork, finely ground beef, cornflakes, finely ground chicken base (roasted chicken, salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, flavoring, turmeric) and a paprika coating. It is the same color and consistency as bologna, and it has a surprisingly convincing chicken taste. I suggest serving it on light rye bread, with sharp cheddar cheese and hot mustard. Yummy!

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