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A tray of assorted lunch meats
Lunch meats—also known as Cold cuts, luncheon meats, sandwich meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats, and deli meats—are precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves, that are sliced and served cold or hot on sandwiches or on party trays. They can be bought pre-sliced in vacuum packs at a supermarket or grocery store, or they can be purchased at a delicatessen or deli counter, where they might be sliced to order.
Most pre-sliced lunch meats are higher in fat, nitrates, and sodium than those that are sliced to order, as a larger exposed surface requires stronger preservatives.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention advises that those over 50 reheat lunch meats to "steaming hot" 165 °F (74 °C) and use them within four days.
In Commonwealth countries, luncheon meat specifically refers to products that can include mechanically reclaimed meat and offal. In these countries, the terms cold meats, cooked meats, deli meats or sliced meats are used instead.
The Spanish word for lunch meat, fiambre, is also used in street slang to refer to a dead body (more common in Chile and Argentina), because of the word used to express low temperatures of the bodies. In Brazil, the Portuguese for ham "presunto" is also used with the same meaning.
In Guatemala, a lunch meat is a traditional dish eaten in November. It is eaten the first and second day of the month to celebrate "El día de Todos los Santos" (All Saints' Day) and "El día de Todos los Difuntos" (All Souls' Day). There are two types: red and white.
Mortadella, a common deli meat that originated in Italy
- Capicola (coppa)
- Chicken breast
- Chicken loaf (also known as chicken roll)
- Corned beef
- Dutch Loaf
- Chipped chopped
- Jamón: serrano or ibérico.
- Head cheese
- Ham & cheese loaf
- Olive loaf
- Pepper loaf
- Pimento loaf
- Spiced luncheon loaf
- Veal loaf
- Pork roll
- Roast beef
- Roast pork
- Bierwurst or beerwurst
- Blood tongue (Zungenwurst)
- Bologna, Polony
- Krakowska (Kraków-style pork sausage)
- Saucisson sec (dry, maturing, salty, savoury-tasting French salami)
- Summer sausage
- Thuringian sausage
- Smoked meat
- Turkey breast
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