Saturday, June 14, 2008

Peoples Choice BBQ - Specialty Sausage

2008 Peoples Choice BBQ Awards – Specialty Sausage

‘Specialty’ is the category for exotic sausage that doesn’t fit into the ‘standard’ or ‘hot’ category. There is certainly some overlap here, as both the Merguez and Tejano could easily fit into the ‘hot’ category and the South African Boerewors might fall into the ‘standard’ category for its taste, if not history.

This was the most populous category, by far. Because of this we are going to list the top five finishers. Oddly, we also had two ties in this category. A special note of appreciation goes to both Uli’s Famous Sausage and Poche’s Sausage. They dominated the category with multiple sausages placing in the top 5.

1st TIE Uli’s Famous Sausage –Merguez-

I have no idea what this signifies, but this sausage garnered the most amazing smoke ring I’ve ever seen. It was smoked at 225 for about 45 minutes. The sausage was a bit spicy, but offered a lingering; low level heat. The sausage was moist and made from lamb and beef. The initial heat, although fairly strong, had a distinct flavor of its own. Quite often the heat in sauces and sausages will be just that. Heat. There won’t be an accompanying flavor profile. If you are looking for a sausage that offers a unique flavor profile, layered heat and a moist without oily experience; this is for you.

1st TIE Poche’s Sausage –Duck and Chicken

I was completely surprised that this was as popular as it was. I would have thought that the flavors and meats closest to standard sausages would have been the highest rated. The flavors in this sausage are distinct and delicate. There are sausages that should be devoured and sausages that should be savored. This sausage would be a fine accompaniment to a great wine and should be savored slowly.

2nd TIE Meyer’s Elgin -Tejano Mexican-
This sausage had considerable heat. The heat was completely integrated in the sausage and didn’t suffer from ‘pockets’ of spice. I expected the flavors to be identical to their jalapeno cheese variety without the cheese. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the flavor was distinct. The sausage had an odd ‘clean’ taste to it that I credit to the lack of artificial ingredients.

2nd TIE Uli’s Famous Sausage - South African Boerewors-

Although I wasn’t a judge and my opinions weren’t what mattered here, this was one of my favorite sausages. It’s clear when a master of his art is working. Similar to the best of other sausages, this was layered with flavor. It seems that this is no easy matter with meats. On a few occasions I’ve had chicken sausages that offer the distinct and clean flavors offered here, but I’ve rarely had that pleasure with a sausage that is made from beef and pork.

3rd Poche’s Sausage – Pork and Crawfish –

4th Poche’s Sausage – Alligator and Pork –

5th Aidells – Cajun Style Anduille -

Check back Monday for the listing of the manufacturers with the highest aggregate scores. After a break of a few days we will start the 2008 Peoples Choice BBQ Awards for sauce.


post signature