Appearance – How was it cut? What shape was the sausage/cured meat? Is it mainly lean meat, any fatty deposits, even distribution of both? What color is it
Aroma – How does it smell? Are there hints of herbs, spice, fruits, florals, something else? What does the smell remind you of?
Taste – How does it taste? Salty, sweet, bitter? Any aftertaste or lingering flavors?
Texture – Does it have a bite or chew to it or does it melt in your mouth?
honey wheat pretzel sticks with 2 kinds of mustard dips
macaroni & cheese with pancetta
tomato & goat cheese tarts
fresh baked bread, brought in by my friend John
fresh fruit platters to cleanse the palates
Beers: Goose Island’s Harvest Ale & 312
Wines: red & white
It was so interesting to be able to try a whole assortment of sausages and cured meats at one time. Each has a different texture, flavor, appearance, after taste, aroma. Here’s what was on our tasting menu:
Daniele Salame with coarse black pepper – I found this to be extremely peppery. The rub/coating was pretty thick and maybe it was too thick. The pepper seemed to mask the flavor of the sausage if not, completely.
AmyLou brand Italian Chicken Sausage with bell peppers and onions – This has a nice flavor overall. There were hints of fennel but the Italian notes of dried herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary) were evident. Being that this was a chicken sausage, there was a slight sweetness as well. The bits of peppers and onions rounded out the flavors nicely.
Lam Prosciutto – This was definitely gamey in both smell and flavor. It’s an acquired taste, especially because it has a very strong aroma.
Finocchiona Fennel Sausage – This was delicious and had a nice consistency about it. The fennel was definitely prominent but not off putting at all. With the evenly dispersed pockets of fat, it melted in my mouth leaving a nice aftertaste. It goes especially well with white wine.
AmyLou’s brand Apple Gouda Chicken Sausage – If there was a sausage to ring in the fall season, this would be it. The bits of gouda cheese throughout was deliciously paired with the sweetness of apple mixed in. I enjoyed this with beer, specifically the Goose Island Harvest Ale.
Lomo Curado: cured pork loin from spain – This was delicate with very little fat. Made with pork loin, it took on the flavor of the rub, which was made with chipotle chiles. It had some spice to it but it was very mild. I loved how this just melted and the lingering flavor had a subtle hint of sweetness too.
Columbus Herb Salame – This was much different from the pepper crusted sausage. The herbs worked nicely with the sausage and it had an even amount of fat that the herbs helped cut through. This was delicious with wine.
If you’re interested in learning more about a specific food or ingredient, a tasting with friends is a great way to do just that. For more tasting ideas that I’ve done, you can check out the others in my blog here – TASTING SESSIONS