The next stop on Hercules’ tour of the neighbourhood was the butchers’ shop, Meat Monster, run by the well-travelled Orthrus brothers. Gerry and Ron Orthrus had moved to Athens from abroad several years earlier and specialised in sourcing and supplying the finest meats from all around the world. As the opening door sounded the customer bell, both brothers looked up from their work and smiled broadly in Hercules’ direction.
“Howdy!” said Gerry. “Howdy!” said Ron. “Er... howdy,” said Hercules. “What can we do for you today?” both brothers asked in unison.
“Surprisingly enough,” said Hercules, “I’d like to buy some meat, please.”
“Certainly,” said Gerry. “Absolutely,” said Ron. Both of them gestured towards the meats on display:
“We’ve a wide variety on offer this afternoon,” said Gerry. “A veritable smorgasbord,” concurred Ron. “But wait, there’s more!” both said at once, before leaning in closer to Hercules. “We’ve also got something...” began Gerry. “...that we borrowed from your Mum!” finished Ron.
“Okay,” said Hercules, patiently. “Well, if you just pass it on to me, I’ll buy some meat and be on my way...” The direct approach was worth a try, he thought, but both brothers waved a finger and Gerry began to explain.
“Take a look at the twelve meats for sale. From what you can see in front of you, there’s a way to derive twelve letters that will spell out something your Mum lent us when we were decorating our apartment.”
“Right,” said Hercules, “so twelve letters from twelve items – that’ll be one letter from each then...”
“Nope,” said Ron. “Two letters from each.”
TASK: Solve this enigmatic puzzle to derive the twelve-letter item that needs to be returned to Hercules’ mother.
Although the meat images themselves are purely window-dressing (as pointed out in the footnote), everything on the labels is important to the puzzle.
To close down a couple of dead ends:
1. The flags represent a country's usual 'shortform' name (e.g. 'Australia' rather than 'The Commonwealth of Australia'). You don't need to go looking for other representations like internet domains or telephone codes...
2. There is no Baconian cipher involved!
Disclaimer: I have tried to ensure that no meats have been paired with countries where they are widely considered taboo for religious or cultural reasons. Any unfortunate match-ups that remain are unintentional and no offence is intended.
Image credits: National flags in public domain, taken from Wikipedia; 1 and 2 created by terdpongvector; 3 created by freepik. Assume that the meats pictured are correctly identified by their labels – meat images are purely window-dressing.