What are the best sausages?
I have tried many store bought sausages and I don't like any of them, but I love the sausages from street vendors, can someone please tell me how/where to buy good sausages, what to look for, what to stay away from, and whether or not they sell the vendor type sausages in stores, etc. I don't know anything about sausages, and would like to learn.
Go to a good quality butcher or german market. The two near me have a huge section of sausages. I look for fresh made, natural casings and no filler. I avoid pre-made/pre-packaged.
I also like the in store made ones at better grocery chains. These run on the italian vein which maybe what you mean by street vendor? Are you talking about your typical sausage, onions and pepper? These are the closest ones I find that match the "sausage guy" outside of ball games and busy city streets. Fry up a mess of peppers and onions, slide the cast iron pan into the oven with a couple of good links, add some beer and let simmer. Put it all in a soft italian loaf. Delish!
Go to the Library and check out a couple books on sausage making. They can get you what you need if they so not have it on site, by getting the books for you through inter-library loan. A lot less expensive than buying books that may not fit your need. The books will provide pretty much everything you need to know about sausage. The availability of good sausage depends on the area you live in. Personally, I stay away from most major brands of sausage with few exceptions. Not that there is anything wrong with the sausage, its just that I do not care for it, however, I do not eat sausage with mechanically seperated chicken and turkey parts. Other than what I make myself I use the sausages from nearby sausage makers that I have found to my liking.
Where are you located ? Maybe you could ask in a chowhound board closer to where you live.
In my experience, the simple the sausage, the better; no fancy flavours, just plain and simple.
Sausages must not feel "tacky" to the touch, they must not smell weird ...
My sausage maker is certified organic, gluten free, etc. and has the most terrific Berkshire pork sausages ever. The flavour is unreal! He raises the pigs himself (you can go visit them) and produces several things including sausage at his small production plant. He sells at markets and to higher-end restaurants. The Cumberland sausages in particular are absolutely incredible. They take me back to our trips to England, where our sausage maker comes from. Hopefully you will be able to find someone in your area. I live in Alberta so am afraid I can't help you there. :( I would personally not purchase sausages from grocery stores for obvious reasons.
The best sausages come from the best meat you can find. His are all pork but I do know of people who make game sausage, too. Try to find sausage with very few ingredients and very little filler (if any).