Again, trying to find good and healthy AND cheap. :) I know, I know. . . those adjectives shouldn't describe one item! I want GOOD sausage with no preservatives (and, especially, not nitrites or nitrates). I have been buying Spolumbo's from Sobey's. It is okay, I guess, but I know nothing about how the meat used to make the sausage was raised, etc. And it certainly is pricey.
On a side note, I am an American who is new to Calgary (and Canada). I am used to buying local and natural at good prices. So I am trying to find my way around-- any help is appreciated!
Costco has been making efforts to increasingly go local, and have done so with certain products like beef. As to pork, I can't say, but the prices are good and the fat content of sausages is generally lower than typical sausage.
Co-op will sometimes carry Hutterite products and they are certainly local, but not usually cheap.
And if you are in Okotoks (just south of Calgary) try here:
All local, and the range of sausages is much greater than the website would suggest.
Because you don't want nitrates/nitrites in your sausage, you are limited to only fresh sausage (with a few exceptions). This means it's really easy to make your own. Buy pork, grind it (or have your butcher do it for you), add salt and seasonings, mix it up, and that's it. You don't even have to stuff it if you don't want to. There is a Kitchen-Aid grinder attachment that also has a sausage stuffer built in if you decide you do want to stuff them, or you can get a standalone stuffer.
Making your own sausage really is easy, and you get complete control over what goes in them. Various preservatives are not the only nasty thing in commercial sausages. There's often way more water than necessary, flour, binding agents, and anything else they can add to sell more stuff that's cheaper than meat at the price of meat. Not that I'm strongly opinionated or anything. Also homemade sausage freezes well so you can make a large batch and save for the future.
As for buying local and natural at good prices, in Canada you have to redefine "good". Food is simply more expensive here than in the USA, and there's no avoiding it. Sorry.
It has been a sausage fest at our house! Ha! We have tried lots of sausage purveyors lately. . . Illichman's has a very nice bratwurst and Cabbage Roll sausage (tastes like Polska kielbasa). Thank you for that recommendation!!
The missing link had a very good garlic sausage, but it is quite expensive.
Spragg Meats, which is very close to Missing Link at the market, had a good deal on pork sausage. We did not LOVE the flavor, but it was a nice, natural sausage at a good price.
We also happened into Cracovia one day -- it is a Polish store off of Heritage Dr They bring sausage in from a shop in Red Deer that does everything naturally. We bought hat they called "bratwurst" (it was really Polish "biala", or raw sausage, flavored with marjoram and garlic). It was great! TONS of flavor and a fair price. Not a lot of fat in it, either. We'll be going back to try one of their 50,000 types of smoked sausages, too.
Thanks again for all of your help!
Here in Edmonton many think that Spolumbo's sausages are very good. It calls my attention that it has not been mentioned yet.
But when it comes to italian style sausage, nothing beats the "original recipe" from Edmonton's Italian Centre (aka Spinellis's) A similar one is also sold commercially branded as Adrianna's .
Amazing taste and texture for a fairly low fat pork sausage.