Several years ago, due to an awesome price cut that made the price of Bell & Evans be better than the store brand chicken, we tried Bell & Evans Fresh Young Chicken/Raised Without Antibiotics breasts.
To our surprise, the chicken from Bell & Evans tasted phenomenal. The taste was FAR BETTER than the store brand and that of Perdue. Because of this, we have happily spent a little more money each week to have the better tasting chicken on our dinner plate ever since — for us, it was a bonus to be eating chicken that was raised without antibiotics.
We’ve always bought our Bell & Evans from our local supermarket, Foodtown of Bay Ridge — located in Brooklyn, New York.
We bring these dorky factoids of our dinner plates up because we are 99.9999% certain that the chicken packaged for sale in the above photo, from Foodtown of Bay Ridge, isn’t actually Bell & Evans Fresh Young Chicken/Raised Without Antibiotics breasts. If fact, for the past several weeks, the chicken that has been offered for sale in these Bell & Evans packages have changed dramatically. It wasn’t the first time that such a change has happened, but it has been steadily happening for several weeks now, and it’s irking us.
It used to be a once in a blue moon/every now and then thing, the chicken in the B&E packages would be bigger and pinker than the normal B&E breasts. When cooked, they would taste terrible, and suspiciously like that of the Foodtown/store brand chicken. We figured that one of the “butchers” in the back took the chicken from the wrong tray and accidentally labeled them as being chicken from B&E. (Butchers is in quotes, because our grandfather was an actual butcher, and the people at Foodtown pale in comparison to real butchers.)
Usually, the B&E packages with the above pictured label have two young chicken breasts in them, the breasts are small in size, with a net weight between .55 and .95 pounds, and the chicken is MUCH lighter in color and MUCH less pink than the chicken seen in the above photo.
The B&E package in the above photo has two large chicken breasts in it, weighs 1.25 pounds (MUCH larger and WAY heavier than the average B&E breasts), and are much pinker than the average B&E breasts. In fact, the chicken in the above B&E package looks exactly like the Foodtown/store branded chicken.
We’ve cooked Bell & Evans chicken for several years now and know the difference in look and taste between B&E and the store brand. Given this, if the chicken pictured above was purchased and cooked, it would have tasted exactly like the Foodtown/store branded chicken, because this happened several weeks in a row now, and we are sick of getting ripped off.
So we gotta ask: is it Foodtown of Bay Ridge that keeps placing the incorrect chicken in the B&E packages? Or is it that the B&E chicken no longer looks the same (i.e. no longer looks like fresh young chicken raised without antibiotics)?
In our humble opinion, it is the former of the two, since the chicken in the vacuum sealed B&E packages of fresh young chicken raised without antibiotics look exactly the same as the chicken that we used to purchase in the package/label shown in the above photo.
So, consumers of Bay Ridge, be careful our there with your meat purchases, and B&E, you probably want to look into this.