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What is it with the sausages - why only Italian?

We are Irish with a love of Italian food but that doesn't mean we don't occasionally like a good German sausage. Being relatively new here we have been looking beyond the supermarkets choices (seem to be only Sweet or Hot Italian saugages only here with a sprinking of apple stuffed Irish(???)) hoping to find a good selection of German wursts. Does anyone have any suggestion for the South of Boston suburbs (Stoughton/Canton/Norwood and south)?

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  1. Brave the drive and go to Karl's Sausage Kitchen in Saugus. Yes it is on the North Shore instead of the South Shore but you will find exactly what you are seeking.

    Years ago there was an artisan sausage-maker whose operation was in Norwood. It included a retail storefront. Briefly they also operated a storefront on Mass Ave in Arlington Heights. Unfortunately, a Google search is turning up nothing about this business. Too bad, they had a nice range of products, mostly Central European. Yum.

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    Karl's Sausage Kitchen
    142 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

    1 Reply
    1. re: PinchOfSalt

      Karl's is fantastic. I went there two Saturdays ago and bought 5 kinds of sausage: weisswurst, rost bratwurst, smoked bratwurst, bauernwurst, and pinkelwurst. All were distinctive and good. We cooked the pinkelwurst, a short, fat sausage, about the size of a beer can, with kale. It was wonderful as were the other wursts. There must have been another 10 types of sausage available at Karl's as well as smoked pork chops and other German delights. Go!!!

    2. Haven't been myself -- I'm staying in a hotel with nowhere to store the wursts, much less cook them -- but I hear high praise for Schaller & Weber, a/k/a Euroguild:

      Euroguild, Inc. 397 High Plain Street, Walpole, MA 02081
      http://www.euroguild.com

      They're only open Thu-Sat.

      -----
      Schaller & Weber
      397 High Plain St, Walpole, MA 02081

        1. That is not the ideal area for German wursts, but there are probably more Portuguese and Brazilian sausages there than Italian. If you can hike all the way to Norwell the Smoke House is an option. The Irish butchers and sausage makers south of the city don't use apple, what you bought probably was someone's idea of a gourmet product but the real thing is available just south of the city. You can also get Southern sausages at Lord Jeffs in Roxbury, Chinese sausages in Quincy, etc.

          5 Replies
          1. re: itaunas

            Thanks, itanuas! The place I was thinking about in my post was indeed the Smoke House. Norwell instead of Norwood. What a senior moment....

            1. re: PinchOfSalt

              Definitely the Smoke House in Norwell on Rt 53. We get all sorts of sausages there as well as things like Westphalian ham and smoked pork chops. Don't limit yourself to the German sausages-we love the 3P-prosciutto, red pepper and provolone.

              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                The 3P is my favorite Smoke House Italian style. I like the Smoke House a lot, just wish they would use a little more of a course grind for sausages. That's just personal preference. Good stuff and the owner was trained in Germany.

            2. re: itaunas

              Not south, but...

              don't know about Market Baskets everywhere, but the one in Somerville has linguiça and chorizo (I will never remember which is which), and is around the corner from a Brazilian butcher that (last I checked) makes its own sausages in-house.

              1. re: djd

                Market Basket also tends to have fresh (unsmoked) kielbasa all year round, whereas one only tends to find it around Easter and Christmas at S&S.

            3. No mystery why it is hard for find German sausages here. There are just not a lot of people in this area of German heritage, but there are tons of Italians. Just fairly recently those heavily advertised "brats" have come to our supermarkets (Johnson? Johnstown?). I have yet to try one, but maybe I will once it's grilling season again.

              4 Replies
              1. re: pemma

                Grilling season has start and end-dates? :)

                1. re: okra

                  Yes while it officially ends on labor day, it starts right up on the first snow emergency of the year. :-)

                  pemma I think you would be better off with Grote and Wiegel from Johnnie's Foodmaster (or even something from Whole Foods) than Johnsonville.

                  1. re: itaunas

                    Thanks for the tip. I'll make a note of it.

                  2. re: okra

                    For me it does. I don't have a deck, just a patio and it gets too dark and cold for me to go outside and grill in the middle of the winter. But, when it starts to warm up it's great doing it again, having been away from it.

                2. Thanks for all your great suggestions! I think we need to head up north and visit Karls one of these days. Euroguild is another I need to look into.

                  THANKS AGAIN!

                  1. If you drive south to New Bedford, Brockton you'll get some excellent homemade Portugese sausages.

                    1. The absolute best German sausages, IMO, are made by the Smoke House in Norwell. It's tiny but the quality will knock your sox off and they are very reasonably priced.

                      It's next door to the Peppridge farm outlet store.

                      They make and carry other German meat/food products and imported goods too.

                      Karl's is great, but Smokehouse is better.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        "Smokehouse is better" -- wow, that's a strong statement. I can't wait to check it out, as I love Karl's.

                        1. re: yumyum

                          I know .... but I have become a big fan of the Smokehouse's sausages.

                          I know most people love karl's but I don't think a whole lot of hounders have trudged to Norwell to sample the competition. They sell at Savenor's too, I think, but I don't think they carry the full lineup of product.

                          Here's their story: http://www.boston.com/ae/food/article...

                          1. re: C. Hamster

                            I found out about them around '92 while reading the Al Forno cookbook recipe for sausages and grapes. Living in Cohassett at time I was surprised that they had an outlet in Norwell. I became friendly with Victor, father of Dave the sausage maker, and co-owner. They also had a retail store in Wellesley at the time. Victor a former sausage making equipment rep is one of the nicest, most genuine people you could meet. I know that they mostly supply restaurants and some places have given David their recipes and specs for smokehouse to produce for them. I know in the '90's they supplied Bread & Curcus, Olives, Al Forno, Jacob Wirth, Michela's, Biba......etc

                            Here's an old story http://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/25/sty...

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              Well, I have eaten more sausages than I really want to confess to from both places (Karl's and Smokehouse) and I strongly prefer Karl's. So it just proves that people with good taste can differ. :) (I really miss the lamb sausage -- maybe Moroccan? -- they used to make at the Smokehouse, but they discontinued it maybe 6 or 8 years ago unless you ordered 20 pounds or something.)

                              1. re: GretchenS

                                Sounds like merguez. You might try halal markets for that.

                                1. re: BobB

                                  It actually wasn't like merguez at all (which I love), but thanks for pointing me toward the halal markets for that, good tip.

                                  To itaunas' point about the fat, I bought some lamb sausages at a farmers' market last summer, still chasing the lamb sausage of my dreams formerly obtainable at the Smokehouse, and it was dry and tough due to an almost complete lack of fat. Healthy, I suppose, but no fun to eat. When I make merguez, I add a good bit of olive oil to the ground lamb for juiciness, foolowing an Ana Sortun hint in her cookbook.

                            2. re: yumyum

                              I love Karl's too, but I will say the one thing I'd like to see more of from them are some good coarse-ground and well-smoked sausages -- they really excel at the more delicate things like the weisswurst, but sometimes you want something more assertive as well. This sounds like it's worth exploring.

                              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                This may explain why I prefer Smokehouse's products.

                            3. smokehouse in Norwell comes to mind. Very good product there.

                              1. Not quite the area you're looking for but; My go to place for sausages these days is the Butcher Shop in the Adams Village section of Dorchester. They have a wonderful assortment and if you call ahead for something they'll make it that day. Curry chicken sausages are amazing as are the spicy southern version, they also do lamb & mint, hot and sweet Italian, Irish sausages and many others. Selections change frequently. I definitely suggest checking this place outl.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Pegmeister

                                  We had a pretty amazing jalapeno sausage from there, I have to say.

                                  The southern sausage was very odd the time i tried it. I think they mixed some breakfast sausages up inthe pile.

                                  The guys in there are THE NICEST!

                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                    They are accomodating. I called one day to ask about the curry sausage, and they offered to make some up to pick up later it in the day. Off topic, I wanted to let you know that Boston Phoenix has a half price offer at Tavalo.

                                2. I have a vaguely related question....does anyone have any suggestions for where to buy sausages that don't include pork? The store can sell all the pork it wants, but amongst all the normal pork casing / pork filled sausages I am hoping to find interesting chicken, beef, and lamb sausages in non-pork casing (lamb, artificial, or none at all on the casing front is fine).

                                  For example, I've heard such great things about Karl's Sausage Kitchen, but do they offer anything in a non-pork casing? I'd hate to drive all the way out there only to come home empty handed (pesky attempts at slightly keeping religious codes).

                                  -----
                                  Karl's Sausage Kitchen
                                  142 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                    Why don't you give them a call to ask??

                                    -----
                                    Karl's Sausage Kitchen
                                    142 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

                                    Butcher Shop Market, Inc.
                                    782 Adams St, Boston, MA 02124

                                    1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                      Its more complicated than that, for most sausages you need to add fat depending on the cut. So for beef sausage except maybe in rare cases with brisket, you need fat. Chicken sausages and turkey sausages almost always do. Lamb too (and the fat is generally strong flavored). For inexpensive, neutral tasting fat, pork is a lot easier. So it is common to add pork fat. In fact most French (and upscale butcher) versions of Merguez add pork fat. And Christian Portuguese adopted Alheira from the jewish community (which you can buy at Seabra) but adding pork fat. And there is still the casing issue so you get "kosher style" franks. There are sausages which use collagen casings (some local irish sausages use them), but I don't know of any w/o pork.

                                      This is a case where making your own homemade sausage would be a big win and its not at all complicated, but does require a bit of an investment. Alternately I would encourage checking out Halal markets around town (you can find plenty of recs on the boards) but can't tell you about the casings..

                                      1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                        You might try the new high-end (or at least higher-end than The Butcherie) kosher market in Brookline, Grape Leaves. I don't know if they have much of a sausage selection but they have an in-house butcher so it's a possibility.

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                                        Grape Leaves
                                        428 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

                                        1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                          Smokehouse has a variety of chicken sausages

                                          1. Well - we decided to make the trip to Karl's today -- one hour due north through Boston in NON rush hour traffic (Smoke House was equidistant too). It was worth the trip and we came home with sausages for the winter. Very busy little place but had everything and more that we could have wanted. I took info on shipping as I might just phone in the next orders to save the trip.
                                            Thanks again for this tip as we now know where to go. Now if I could only find the German Brotchen to go with all those great smoked deli meats!

                                            16 Replies
                                            1. re: davefoxdad

                                              Bread should be fresh. That's especially true for rolls. The only thing that disappointed me about my trip to Karl's was the lack of dates on the packaged bread. I got some rye and when I got home it was evident that a good number of days had passed since it came out of the oven. Ah well, seems like I will resort to home made the next time I do a Karl's run.

                                              In that spirit, here's a Brotchen recipe you might want to try

                                              http://www.food.com/recipe/brotchen-g...

                                              I have never tried it, but the reviews are very good and my experience tells me that the ingredients look okay.

                                              1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                Wow - thank you. Lived in Germany for 10 years and never realised these could be made at home. We all used to trek to the Bakery at least three times a week for fresh. Thanks so much for sharing this - my family will love it, I really miss those German breakfasts!

                                                1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                  You know, the best pumpernickel and rye breads and rolls I find are at Wilson's Farm in Lexington where everything is made on premises. The breads and rolls are so very fresh no matter which day you go, and there's an enormous selection of every type of baked goods...
                                                  I'm very fussy about bread.
                                                  http://www.wilsonfarm.com/inside.html

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    Do they have real German brotchen though? Even Clear Flour doesn't.

                                                    Are you familiar with brotchen? They're smallish rolls, a bit larger than a Parker House but smaller than a bulkie (another dying breed), with a crusty exterior and fluffy soft interior. They go stale in a matter of hours so you buy them fresh every morning. Slice them open and put a bit of wurst, cheese, butter or jam inside for breakfast. Echt Deutsche.

                                                    I've never seen the real thing anywhere in the US.

                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                      The hard rolls of New York (Boston's rolls do not compare) traditionally also go stale in a few hours - you should traditionally buy them before each meal - but getting good hard rolls in NY is like getting good bagels and good old-fashioned NY pizza: rarer than it used to be.

                                                      Then there are the kimmelweck rolls of western NY state. I hope that, when Wegman's opens in Northborough, we can get freshly baked weck....

                                                    2. re: Gio

                                                      Hi Glo, I shop at Wilson's fairly frequently. They do bake some bread in house, but most of what they sell comes from other bakeries, such as Jessica's, Nashoba, and Iggy's. Those breads are usually very nice, as you say. The stuff that is baked in-house is actually only a small portion of what they offer, and I believe is only being finished on premises (starting with loaves that were par-baked elsewhere). My own preference is for the name-brand breads, though. They may not be warm from the oven but there is a greater variety and they tend to be very well made.

                                                      Having said that, bread baking actually does not take all that much time if you do the kneading by machine (love my 30-year-old metal-gear Kitchenaid), and there is nothing like a kitchen warmed in winter by the oven and filled with the aroma of fresh bread. It's also fun to put the dough on top of my PC to rise (the warmest place in the house). Market Basket's selection of whole grain from Bob's Red Mill supplies me with things like rye and hard spring wheat. Fresh-ground flour is a revelation in flavor. Not even the artisan bakeries grind fresh. (It actually makes more sense for a home baker to do that than a large-scale bakery.) Hmmm, tomorrow is supposed to be really yucky, maybe I should pick a recipe and get the pre-ferment stage going today use tomorrow.

                                                      1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                        Well - I am also trying to get up the energy to make the Brotchen recipe you gave. Having lived both in Germany and many countries elsewhere in Europe and Asia over the years I doubt one can find a bakery selling these. I remember it was the most missed item mentioned by German expatriates living in other countries. They used to call our "Wonder Bread" - - "Nasserschwamm" or "wet sponge"!

                                                        1. re: davefoxdad

                                                          Haha. Yes, there is a huge difference between artisan bread and the industrial stuff that is so common in US supermarkets. The good news is that in the past several years there has been a huge increase in the variety and availability of artisan bread in the Boston area. In fact, now that I think of it, there is one baker who might have something close to what you want, or even be convinced to try selling them if he doesn't do so now. Here is their website:

                                                          http://www.swissbakers.com/index.php

                                                          While most of their rolls are sweet, I see one that is not and looks nice and crusty.

                                                          Of course if you do decide to bake your own rolls, and have never baked bread before, you might want to search youtube for a video explaining how to shape a freestanding loaf of bread or roll. A few weeks ago at a shared Thanksgiving dinner, the person who volunteered to bake rolls had never baked a loaf of bread before. He did a great job getting the dough to the point of forming the rolls, but then just basically scooped up globs and plopped them on the baking stone (after inexplicably spraying them with Pam). Well they rose and the taste was what you would expect from the dough he used, but their shape was more like a Hershey's Kiss than a nice rounded roll. Have no fear, learning how to properly form loaves and rolls takes only a little practice, and you will easily get great results once you have gotten the knack.

                                                          1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                            And, if you're in the city. The Swiss Bakers will be at the Downtown crossing holiday market from 12/18-12/24.

                                                            I covered this market in next week's Fresh & Local column. There is a listing of which food vendors will be there each day at the market site. It's a rotating roster so you check first if you are looking for a particular food.

                                                            http://dtcholidaymarket.wordpress.com...

                                                            Penny
                                                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                                            1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                              Well - I decided to make a batch this morning and was surprised at the outcome! Very close to the real brotchen I believe. It is a bit of work and I need to add more yeast next time but now I know how to do it so THANKS AGAIN. I am betting my kids will want to consider them equivalent to the Bertucci's pizza dough rolls which they love to dip in the spicy olive oil. I will need to hide some for my Kalteplatte Fruehstueck tomorrow!

                                                              -----
                                                              Bertuccis Restaurant
                                                              6 Plaza Way, Plymouth, MA 02360

                                                      2. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                        We've gotten some great, fresh rye bread at Baltic Deli in Dorchester - a short way off of 93 on your way home. Not German but decent stuff. Their selection seems to vary a lot; I don't go there frequently enough to have figured out if it's the schedule of their bakers, or if they are changing suppliers.

                                                        -----
                                                        Baltic Deli & Cafe
                                                        632 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127

                                                      3. re: davefoxdad

                                                        So glad you found it a worthwhile trip! I think Thursday is the best day for variety, it seems as though Wednesday is the busiest sausage-making day.

                                                        1. re: davefoxdad

                                                          just a tip, the smokehouse shop is really small. If you were to walk in and stand in one place and make a 360° turn, you'd have seen the whole store. Just thought that those considering making a trip a long way to see this place may want to know.

                                                          1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                                                            But...do they have smoked sausages for sale? If so, what do we care how big it is?

                                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                              I agree it's worth pointing out that this place is small. If anyone is going to make the 30-40 minute (or more) trek to Norwell then they may be disappointed if they're under the impression this place is even remotely the size of Karl's. All products are made at their mini-factory in Roxbury so the store doesn't need to be large. But......It is tiny. Full to the brim, but tiny.

                                                        2. The Roche Brothers/Sudbury Farms supermarkets carry some Schaller&Weber products. A few months back, I tried Roche Bros' house-made chicken and apple sausage, which I thought was terrific. But they haven't had it since. I suppose I should give some of their other house-made sausages a try.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                            The better local Russian stores (Bazaar & Berezka) carry Schaller & Weber also, as well as a variety of imported wursts from Poland, Hungary and the like. Mostly cured products though, not fresh sausages.

                                                          2. Route 53, Norwell -The Smokehouse (next to pepperidge farm store) Incredible mix of German, Irish, Scottish sausage, as well as good assortment of german breads, steaks, and incredible beef jerky.