Saturday, April 2, 2016

There's Bacon In My Sausage Links

 Homestyle Bacon Sausage Links from Farmland Foods
Subject: Homestyle Bacon Sausage Links from Farmland Foods |
Date: 04/01/16 | Photographers: James Kiester & Dani Cogswell | This picture was taken by the author of this blog. |

I was at WinCo Foods in Beaverton, Oregon (3025 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.) when Homestyle Bacon Sausage Links from Farmland Foods caught my eye.  From its cozy spot, within the meat case, the package of 14 links practically screamed, "James, take me home!"

I didn't save the receipt, but I remember noticing the package was roughly the same price as the other pork sausages in the case.

Being a long time fan of both smoky bacon and savory breakfast sausage, I found myself excited and skeptical at the same time.  I knew that many products today are injected with salt and smoke extract, and labeled bacon flavored.  Yet, I figured that if the sausages proved to be the real deal, they'd be a meat treat.

While the links DO contain salt and smoke flavoring, the first two ingredients are pork & bacon (Pork, Bacon ((cured with Water, Salt, Sugar, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Smoke Flavoring)). Less than 2% of the Following: Salt, Natural Flavorings, Dextrose, Water, Corn Syrup Solids, Vinegar, Potassium Lactate, BHA, Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid, Beef Collagen Casing).

Ingredients are one thing, but the true measure of the links is in the taste.  Two sausages were cooked according to the stove top instructions.

Cook sausage until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Microwave preparation is no recommended.
Stove Top:
Cook thawed sausage links in skillet over medium-high heat 7 to 12 minutes, turning frequently to brown evenly.
Place thawed sausage links in shallow baking pan. Bake at 375 F for 10 to 15 minutes; turning links over after 5 minutes.

Right off the bat, I have to say they char a bit faster than other pork sausages I've tried, perhaps do to the additional fat from the bacon.  Even with the presence of a black crust over a third of the links, the flavors were there.  I could taste the savory pork sausage and the smoky bacon.  Plus, the smokiness didn't taste chemically artificial the way so many "bacon flavored" products can.

Even deducting for its sensitivity to charring, I still give Homestyle Bacon Sausage Links from Farmland Foods 8 out of 10 stars.

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