@cinoclav What I came to say.
But it has to be real Polish kielbasa, not the crap they sell here in Texas and call kielbasa but tastes more like the local German or Czech sausage.
We used to visit my mother’s family in the Buffalo NY area often and always tried to bring 5 - 10 pounds back with us on ice. Everyone we would visit there around Christmas time would always have food out on their tables and you could always count on chunks of kielbasa, slices of ham, fresh deli rye or pumpernickel bread, snack vegetables, and homemade cookies. And plenty of beer, mixed drinks, and/or coffee. Lord I miss those times and that food (and the long-gone relatives, too).
Local kielbasa here is to New York kielbasa as Taco Bell is to real Mexican food.
Through my wife’s Italian family, I’ve also more recently developed a taste for Italian sausage made authentically at a local processor. But that is still second to good kielbasa for me.
I like most any kind of sausage, patties to links, from local, fresh made, heavy sage pork sausage from Striplings (You never sausage a place) to hot or sweet Italian to chorizo, to kielbasa, to sopressata, and most everything in between.
When I was a kid, we raised hogs, and made our own sausage for a few years. Daddy liked to over season it, which, for me at the time, was just that “over seasoned.”
I’ve come around over the years, so if I see something like “extra sage,” or “heavy sage,” whole hog sausage, you can count me in as a ready buyer.
Back in the day ('70s & '80s), when Bob Evans was still kicking and before it went the corporate route, his whole pig pork sausage was some of the best there was. I am a sucker for sausage gravy and biscuits, especially when I could find a local Bob Evans restaurant, when we lived in the Northeast or traveled through the mid-west.
Occasionally, I will whip my own s.g.& b., but I can never quite get the same flavor as served in the Bob Evans Restaurant. I am sure that the restaurant short order cooks use a mix of some sort that has additional flavoring agents and most of a food scientist list of horror chemicals, additives, stabilizers, and I don’t rightly knowed what all, added to it.
Ingredients listed for B.E. Sausage Gravy Mix (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Food Starch-Modified, Enriched Bleached Flour [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Corn Syrup Solids, Salt, Yeast Extract, Monosodium Glutamate, contains less than 2% of: Sodium Caseinate [A Milk Derivative], Tomato Powder. Pepper, Color Added, Mono & Diglycerides, Sodium Citrate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Dextrose, Carrageenan, Paprika, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Polysorbate 80, Artificial Flavor), Cultured Dextrose. Must be those partially hydrogenated trans fats from the cottonseed oil reacting with the Natural and Artificial Flavors, ya think?
Jimmy Dean sausage was also good, decades back when Jimmy was around and it was called “Pure Pork Sausage.”
But like all things that get industrialized, it too became a cheapened commodity as it was variously owned and cheapened by the likes of Sara Lee, Hillshire Brands, and now Tyson Foods. JDS now is acceptable, but is just another vms (very mediocre sausage).
Just bought a box of 42 patties of Swaggerty’s Farm Premium Sausage (mild) for 13 bucks from the local Sam’s Club. Swaggerty’s is based in East Tennessee. Not bad. Cooks up quick without a lot of mess in the air fryer, which makes it convenient.
Among the few “sausage” products, I don’t care for is scrapple. Cajun boudin, I can take or leave. Though I have never had it, I suspect that Czech/Slovak Jaternice wouldn’t be especially attractive, though I would gladly give it a try. As a related issue, I was never too fond of headcheese, if you can call that a sausage, either, but my father loved it.
We buy a lot of various sausage, especially large bulk Italian sausages such as Genoa salami, finocchiona, tartufo, varzi, etc. and made by Creminelli and others.
Of late, I have been making sausage, pepper, and onions with Italian hot sausage (I really like the fennel flavor), sweet red, yellow, and green peppers and yellow onions. So good as a wet sandwich on a sub, hoagie, bolillo or baguette (call it what you will) roll. One of my favorite sandwiches; the oldest granddaughter’s too.
Another favorite, a treat actually, is liverwurst. It is hard to beat a liverwurst and onion sandwich made with finger soft, fresh white bread, a generous, thick slice of a large yellow onion, and a good smear of mayonnaise accompanied with a cold beer. I don’t eat this too often owing to the two big “C’s” – calories and cholesterol – but, Oh Nelly!, is it good!
I like bangers well enough with a full English breakfast, but I avoid the black puddings, as the strong “iron” taste is not something I grew up with, I suppose.
I will buy chorizo occasionally and cook it with breakfast eggs. But owing to the heavy paprika content, you have to wash the stain out of everything it touches. Tastes pretty good though. I like it especially with Tex-Mex migas.
Some of the wurst meals, I’ve ever eaten were in Germany, which has to rank among the best sausage meccas in the world. Just as when I get to Wisconsin, I have to find a brat and a beer. In Germany, I do much the same thing. I have had some very memorable wurst meals in small taverns in the German countryside that are the stuff of memories and dreams (not to mention heartburn) yet green.
I love a good hot dog, but unlike some, I prefer it with a bit of ketchup and smothered in onions. No mustard for moi.
I can eat a couple of the Atlanta Varsity’s Chili dogs in a few bites each and have my fix for a few months [Caution: Chili dawgs only bark at night.] I once made the mistake of ordering a plain dog from the Varsity, where they boast of making their hot dogs themselves.
Never, never, never, never, ever again. It was terrible. Tasted worse than the worst cheap mystery meat and chicken bologna of a nightmare. But OK, surprisingly, with Varsity chili (also not the greatest if eaten plain), and onions – lots of extra onions. Go figure.