The folks at Wendy’s first asked us a question. Then came the California Milk Processor Board with an even bigger question. Nowadays, beef producers are shouting to the world about the next huge thing.
Unless you’ve lived in a cave for the past 10 years, you’ve heard of Angus. It’s long been the most widely-bred beef cow in the U.S. But just in the past decade or so, marketing firms have managed to convince many Americans that there is no other breed worthy of being braised, grilled or broiled.
Yes, the Angus campaigns — albeit quietly — have topped Wendy’s short-lived (but widely popular) Where’s the beef? ads. At this rate, the Angus marketers will soon share a wall with the Got Milk? geniuses in the peddler’s hall of fame.
Milk is what it is. There’s nothing to compare it with. Angus beef though is a different story. Is it really that much better than the beef from Herefords, Brahman or Limousins?
Next time you insist on Angus, consider this:
- It takes about two years to ready Angus cattle for market, which is less time than other common bovine reeds.
- The Certified Angus Beef program is a brand. To be labeled as such, the animal must have more than 50 percent black face, among other requirements.
- To be labeled just as Angus, a beef cow typically has to have (varying degrees of) black fur, which indicates some lineage. This process is done visually — not genetically.
- Most beef purchased in the U.S. is Angus, whether or not it is labeled as such.
- Of almost 90 USDA-recognized certified brands, more than 60 include the word ‘Angus.’
- Angus cattle are graded like any other breed. In other words, a USDA Select cut of Angus has the equivalent marbling of any other breed.
- Considering a hot dog or hamburger made with Angus? Just know that the mass-produced versions were likely made with ‘no roll’ (ungraded) meat. That’s not necessarily a terrible thing. It just means the meat wasn’t of high enough quality to be labeled as USDA Choice or Select.
I divulged in 2011 that I’m somewhat of a pizza snob. I don’t think I mentioned, though, that I’m not totally turned off by the pizza chains. In fact, I’m quite partial to an old Pizza Hut standby — from the sandwich menu.
It was originally known as the Pizza Hut Supreme and, according to my research, eventually came to be named the Supremo. By any name, the now-extinct menu item was simple and delicious.
Supremo Panino (Supreme Sandwich)
For each sandwich:
1 – Hoagie roll -or- 2 – slices Italian bread
2 – Provolone slices
3-4 thin slices – Black Forest Ham
2 thin slices – Hard Salami
2 thin slices – Sandwich Pepperoni
Creamy Italian dressing
Olive Oil, for toasting
On a roll/slice, place cheese, ham, salami and pepperoni. Spray or brush bread with olive oil. Grill over medium-high heat (as you would a grilled cheese) until golden on both sides. Add lettuce, tomato and creamy Italian dressing.