I was in the local Save-A-Lot supermarket the other day, browsing the frozen section, when I came across a brand and product I had never heard of before: Purnell's "Old Folks" Country Sausage & Biscuits. Each box has six twin-packs of little (about 2 inches or so in diameter) sausage-and-biscuit sandwiches, pre-cooked and ready to pop into the microwave for a quick breakfast or snack. I don't always have the time in the morning for a real breakfast, so the convenience of taking a package to work with me and nuking it on my coffee break was really appealing - and, I have to admit, the retro-style graphics on the package added to the attraction.
Save-A-Lot is referred to by parent company SuperValu as "the nation's leading extreme value, limited-assortment grocery chain." While most of the stuff I've bought there is of good quality, I've occasionally found a clunker so I wasn't sure what to expect when I tried the Sausage & Biscuits the next morning.
Let me tell you: Purnell's "Old Folks" Country Sausage is delicious.
The biscuits aren't bad; they're not very "biscuity," more like tiny little hamburger buns but made of denser bread. But the country sausage nestling within is just about perfect - the right amount of fat and an excellent blend of seasonings and spices that have a subtle but noticeable pepper kick. The combination of the biscuit and the sausage is extremely satisfying - the twin pack looks like a snack but it's closer to a meal. A pair of the little sandwiches served up with a scrambled egg makes for a breakfast that holds me over all morning until lunch.
I did some Googling to learn more about "Old Folks" sausage and found that F B Purnell Sausage Inc is headquartered in Simpsonville, KY. On their home turf they are pretty well-known, which is hardly surprising given the excellence of their product, and they make a full line of sausage products. Unfortunately, only a few of them are available up here in New England, mostly from Save-A-Lot which seems to limit their offerings to the Sausage & Biscuits and the 3-pound boxes of Medium Country Sausage Patties.
If you're able to find Purnell's country sausage near you, I highly recommend it. I'll be keeping my eye open for other items in their lineup as well - I'd love to sample their Italian sausage.
Purnell's website (home page)
Purnell's company history - Tells how F B Purnell Sr. got his start selling sausage in the 1930's, and also tells where the "Old Folks" brand name came from.