Sunday, March 28, 2010


Esskay Meat holds quite a bit of significance for many Baltimore families. Their meat plant covered a sizable portion of the east Baltimore landscape. ESSKAY - The S stands for William Schluderberg who started the company in 1858 and the K stands for T.J. Kurdle who in 1919 merged with the Schluderberg part to make S K...or ESSKAY. In addition to providing quality products, the company made meat an amusing commodity. They sponsored “Sam and Friends,” a children’s show on WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.—that’s channel 4 for those who were lucky enough to get good tv reception in Baltimore. This was Jim Henson’s first TV show. It was five minutes long and loaded with his very early puppet characters. We watched regularly thanks to a good roof top antenna.

Esskay also used the illustration of the portly butcher on the Ocean City Clocks in the 1950’s and 60’s. Who did not meet their friends on the boardwalk under his watchful eye?

"Esskay Clock, Ocean City Boardwalk" oil on board (24" x 12")

Let’s not forget all the baseball hot dogs they have sold to the Oriole fans for many, many years. And I am looking here at their packaging in this layout. The color combinations are outrageous and work very well. I never knew they sold eggs or Hollywood lunch meat. But I did love their bacon and still do. We usually had our Esskay ham on Easter Sunday and the sausage links were served for breakfast regularly at our house. However I always preferred their bacon. There are also forgotten products like Skeat and Esko pictured here. And when is the last time you saw a can of lard in the regular grocery store? I have news for you. Lard makes cookies and pastries and all kinds of meat dishes delicious so don’t turn up your nose just dig in!

from the author's collection

Here's a recipe for German Potato Salad served with Franfurts that I found in their handbook dedicated to homemakers. It looks to me like the authentic version that my German grandmother made . After all Mr. Schluderberg and Mr. Kurdle were from the country that made German potato salad famous here in Baltimore. As we say en fran├žais - bon appetit!


  1. My dad worked for Armour Meat Co. and EssKay products were not welcome in our house. Here is the Armour Hot Dog song.

    Do you remember it? How about Armour Spam?