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The Arizona Republic Sunday, April 7, 1985 S30 IN YOUR FIR ST HOME 'Ewe will love' latest idea from Steak-umm creator i a -f p-p-H By ELAINE TAIT Knlght-Ridder WEST CHESTER, Pa. "Ewe will love 'em." The slogan for Lamb Lovers Gourmet Cuts is corny. Eugene D. Gagliardi the man who coined it, probably knows it. But when he speaks, big business no longer snickers.
They haven't laughed since he invented the Steak-umm. Before Gagliardi developed a way to make the beef used in steak sandwiches consistently tender, it was apt to be so tough that when you took a bite, you pulled the whole slice of meat away with you. A child could choke on that kind of steak sandwich, which bothered Gagliardi. He invented Everyone laughed until Steak-umm took off like a rocket. Steak-umm's phenomenal success turned Gagliardi a regional retail meat business in West Chester (started in Philadelphia by Gene Gagliardi into one of the largest sellers of frozen raw meat in the world.
When H.J. Heinz bought Gagliardi Bros, for $20 million five years ago, Gene the company's then-president, retired to the life of a country squire. He wasn't yet 50 years old, but the sale had made him a wealthy man. He soon tired of the good life. His agreement with Heinz kept him non-competitive until 1985, but it could not keep him from working on his own project during that time.
Two years ago, Gagliardi built a lab in the barn across the drive from the 18th century farmhouse he shares with his wife and one of his three daughters. He set out to change the way lamb was being cut in this country and New Zealand. "They were presenting lamb wrong," Gagliardi said. "Modern lamb cuts weren't the right size or form for modern families." A leg of lamb was too big for a small family. It took too long to cook and it was difficult to carve.
A rack of lamb had a chine bone 1 that made it another carving problem. Lamb breast? Bony, too, and, to use Gagliardi's word, "wastey." Yet those were the cuts most home cooks were being offered. Gagliardi's aim was to give cooks cuts they could use. He wanted them to get all lean, usable lamb that they could carve easily. Last year, he took the idea to the New York office of the New Zealand Lamb asking for its cooperation and assistance.
The. president of the government-owned, company liked the idea, but "he didn't want to get involved in all the legwork that needed to be done," Gagliardi said. Gagliardi decided to go it alone. Back in his lab, he started cutting. By the time he had carved 100' lambs, he had perfected his gourmet cuts and had patented them.
In February, he flew to New Zealand for another talk with the company and for a demonstration. "Why don't we have this?" the company's new president wanted to know when he'd finished. If all goes according to plan, New Zealand lamb will be sold as Gagliardi's Gourmet Cuts. So, Gagliardi hopes, will American lamb. For the gourmet cuts, a half lamb is divided into six roasts in a variety of manageable sizes plus an assortment of cubes and ground lamb patties that add up to 20 to 30 servings of lean meat.
Roasts are frozen and individually wrapped. Cubes and patties are individually frozen so the consumer can use what is needed and no' more. These packages are then' collected in a heavy cloth duffel marked with a heart and with Gagliardi's cornball slogan. YOU CAN GET ALL THE LUXURIES OF A CUSTOM HOME. FOR ONLY $66,990 GRAND OPENING! Broker Participation Invited Prices and information subject to change r- i jl.
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