What goes into your supermarket deli sandwich?

I discovered something quite by accident about supermarket deli lunch sandwiches while dropping in at my local Loblaws in Ottawa yesterday.

I often check to see if there are barbecued chickens on the refrigerator counter that are half price on their Best Before date. Transformed quickly into floppy rocks, they can sit in my deep freeze until hot pot pie season is on us.

I saw several chickens whose best before date was in fact yesterday, October 31. So I enquired at the deli counter as to whether they could apply the half price sticker and I could take them away. I had done that once before and it worked.

But this time the clerk said no. He explained that if the chickens don’t sell after their Best Before date, the deli staff make them into sandwiches. Presumably, those are the sandwiches one can buy for lunch.

Intrigued, I made my way back to the store yesterday evening. And sure enough, there were all those Best Before chickens sitting out there in an open fridge counter, most likely waiting to be made later that night or the next morning into sandwiches.

(My chickens would have been floppy bricks at least a half day earlier, then consigned to the Hot Pot as needed.)

Readers, does this matter? Up to you. But as a longtime cook and bottle washer, I would suggest making sandwiches at home.

It’s hard to see why we should pay several times as much as the ingredients cost for stuff that is actually past its Best Before date when offered at retail price for sandwiches.

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