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Jan 9, 2007 11:52 PM

Polish sausage from central IL - any available online?

The Polish sausage of my childhood was a smoky, juicy, finely-textured meaty thing with mustard seeds scattered randomly throughout. Once I moved away I never tasted it again until one weekend, at the monthly flea market in Nashville, there was a guy who'd brought a whole bunch down from Arthur, Illinois. He was handing out samples which apparently weren't going over so well with the Nashville crowd, but one taste told me what I wanted to know. If I could have I'd have bought him out and worried about freezer space later, but I was too broke to buy more than a couple of pounds. As that was just about all he sold that day he never came back.

Okay, so now I have online sources for the Tennessee-style meats I want - anyone know of any similar enterprises in downstate Illinois? Chicago-style kielbasa is pretty close, but those Amish co-op guys did the best I've ever tasted.

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  1. Your post made me curious so I had to google it.
    Dutch Valley Meats, Inc. Arthur, IL

    I wonder if this was the group selling in Nashville? They don't seem to have a website but their phone # is listed. Perhaps they'd ship to you.

    Here's another link to a site that does ship and offers Dutch Valley meats:

    I've gotten bulk herbs from the Amish in Arthur, Il.

    Good luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: xena

      Bet that'll work - thanks! It's been almost fifty years since I was anywhere near Arthur, but I'd imagine it's still small enough to not have more than one such retail outlet.

      It wasn't any group selling there in Nashville, by the way, just one guy who probably stocked up on a bunch of sausage and figured he could make a killing on it, being unfamiliar with the utter refusal of most Tennesseans to eat anything they didn't grow up with.

    2. Slotkowski's has changed hands over the years (I believe it's now owned by the folks who make Amy's and Leon's) but what you might consider is Bobak's.

      Sadly, they aren't selling online at this time, but maybe you can call them.

      3 Replies
      1. re: NYChristopher

        The Bobak family is in a legal dispute right now. A few years ago they expanded and opened stores in a few of the south and west suburbs of Chicago. Apparently one of the outlets was selling sausages that were not of the original Bobak recipe and not up to the family standards. The outlets all have some other name on them now and only the original location is Bobaks. I haven't seen anything on this in a few months.

        1. re: LikestoEatout

          I had heard about the dispute.

          From the looks of it, if you buy on the southside, you're buying the original.

          If you buy in the suburbs, you're buying the copy.

          READ THE LABEL is my best advice.

        2. re: NYChristopher

          I was discussing sausages yesterday with one of the butchers at Casey's Market in Western springs and he told me that Slotkowski's does indeed produce the Amy's and Leon's brands.

          You might try Leon's Smoked Polish, which fairly reeks of garlic. I used to get one for lunch and bring it back to the office to eat. My partner, who detested garlic, would invariably leave for the afternoon.

          Mike ;)

        3. I have not had good polish sausage since I was a kid and my dad made it. He was from Illinois and always complained that you could not get good sausage in California where I lived and live.

          thanks for the post I will check it out when I am back there next time.

          1. They are not in Illinois., but Wardynski Meats here in Buffalo has awesome polish sausage, along with some of the best hot dogs around!

            1. Here is an amazing resource of all things Polish in the US. You'll see that virtually everything is either in New York, New Jersey, or Illinois, with a smattering in California. I grew up in North/Central Jersey and took this stuff for granted until I moved away.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ellen

                Wow, sweet, thanks for this. I've lived in Manhattan for almost nine years, and while I knew about Greenpoint, Brooklyn, I never really knew where to go, this will be a HUGE help.