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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

M&M® Meat Shops

M&M® Meat Shops is Canada's largest specialty frozen food chains. The chain was founded in 1980 in Kitchener, Ontario by Mac Voisin and Mark Nowak. The stores can now be found across Canada. Most M&M® stores can be found in smaller strip malls. The stores are quite small and I do mean small. When you walk in the door there will be a long counter with a row of upright freezer behind it. On the other wall there will be a few shelves over bunker style freezers. Most of these stores are mom and pop operated with perhaps at most one employee. M&M® specializes in flash frozen meat that along with other offerings have made them quite popular for pre-made appetizers and desserts for entertaining, steaks for grilling and single serving meals.

boxed honey garlic chicken wingsBoxed

The majority of the meats at M&M® are boxed. Instructions for cooking the product via various means is printed on the box. Other meats and fish are cryovac packaged. About 98% of products offered are frozen. Some store offer small samples of a product they are trying to sell but not very often.

I don't shop a lot at M&M® for a few reasons. First it tends to be considerably more expensive than even the grocery store. It really is on the convenience end of foods so there isn't of lot that we can use. However we occasionally buy a dessert or pick up a couple of boxes of extras for just in case when hosting larger get togethers like the honey garlic chicken wings my husband picked up for Superbowl Sunday. Two things I really l really like there is their salmon (steaks or fillets) and their oriental vegetable mix with the miniature corn in it.

frozen honey garlic chicken wingsIn the Box

Unless the food is cryovac sealed (steaks) or bagged (vegetables) it comes in plastic bags inside cardboard boxes or individual serving sized containers with a heavy plastic lid similar to the seals found on yogurts. The food in the bag has been flash frozen. What I don't like abough this packaging system aside of the box is the air in the thin plastic bag. This food is not packaged for long term storage.

This box that didn't get used for Superbowl Sunday cost $9.99 and contained 22 - 28 pieces of honey garlic chicken wings with instructions on how to cook from the frozen state using oven, barbecue or microwave. I decided to use the oven. It was as simple as opening the bag, arranging onto a Silpat® lined baking sheet and baking according to the instructions.

cooked honey garlic chicken wingsCooked

Recall these wings were bought as a back-up for our Superbowl Party but weren't needed so I used them the next day for dinner. After hosting a larger event that involves several dishes/trays coming out over a 12 hour period an easier dinner is welcomed.

I put potatoes in to bake about 15 minutes before the chicken. The chicken wings were ready in 25 minutes with turning them mid way through heating. The wings came out nice especially for being frozen. They weren't as sticky as a fresh glazed sauce but they certainly would meat the need if you had a house full of guests and needed extra.

3 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

A fine stand by... But think what you could do for the price...

These places have a spot in the food chain, but not among foodies. I am too cheap, and just think about what i could create for the same price

Garden Gnome said...

Dave, these types of places have caught on especially for entertaining. There is a similar one that specializes in this type of packaged food for entertaining not too far from us. I honestly could not believe their prices! I too look at the prices. It really is the ultimate in convenience foods, pricier than store bought, more on the gourmet style yet still not homemade.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi david @ happy writing and thanks for visiting. You're welcome. That is a good question. I think homemade honey garlic wings taste better. What buying this way does is gives you the convenience of popping a ready-made into the oven and 20 minutes later serving it, so that explains why this type of store is a great idea for entertaining. You do pay a price for it. On the flip side their salmon steaks and fillets are reasonably priced so it is like any other store in that you have to know your prices.