The Best Old-School Meats from the Deli Case

These old-school slices are our new go-tos.
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deli meat sandwich stacked high with meat names

Olive Loaf

Are those pimento-dotted green eyes winking at you from behind the counter? Stuffed Manzanilla olives stud this cut (typically made with pork and beef or poultry) for a zestier sandwich. Layer with tomato, cheddar, romaine, and honey mustard.

Liverwurst

This underestimated German spreadable sausage has the worst name. Ask for a sample at the deli counter: The pork and/or veal liver makes for a rich, creamy lunch meat. We love it on rye with lettuce, mayo, and pickled red onions.

Prosciutto

Unlike hodgepodge American ham, this Italian version comes from the hind legs of the pig. It’s sliced so thinly that it catches the light like porky stained glass, and it all but dissolves on your tongue. Stack with Brie, apple, and grainy mustard.

Spanish Chorizo

Sold sweet or spicy, this meat gets its red color from paprika. Unlike Mexican-style chorizo, which is often sold raw in a bulk-sausage-size casing, the Spanish-style stuff is dry-cured. Try it with avocado, pickled peppers, and Manchego.

Mortadella

American bologna, meet your Italian godfather from Bologna. The spots are cubes of neck fat (the most melt-in-your-mouth part of the pig) that make this deli meat extra rich. Pair with roasted peppers, mozzarella, and pesto.