05 March, 2010

Grote & Weigel Kielbasa

In the area where I live, there is no shortage of excellent kielbasa (a variety of smoked Polish sausage.)  There's practically no reason to buy lowest-common-denominator junk like Hillshire Farm sausage around here because several local companies make a superior product.

One of those companies is Grote & Weigel of Bloomfield CT, a town a few miles south of me which was once mostly farmland but has now been pretty much swallowed up into the suburbs of Hartford.  Grote & Weigel is most famous locally for their exceptionally fine hot dogs.  I've had their little kielbasa links, which they call "kellies," and they were pretty good, but I'd never had a big "ring" kielbasa from them.

The first thing I noticed about Grote & Weigel's kielbasa is the color.  Other locally-made kielbasas are darker in color, some almost mahogany in color, thanks to long, slow smoking that gives the sausage part of tis distinctive character.  Grote & Weigel's is paler and more frankfurter-like in color. It also has a "smoother" texture - they obviously use a smaller gauge grinding plate when processing their meats for the sausage.  Although these differences make for a different flavor than some of the more traditionally styled kielbasa I buy, the end result is very good.  The kielbasa is nice and juicy, with a good  but mild balance of garlic and seasonings.  And although Grote and Weigel uses no MSG and less salt than just about any other commercial maker, there is no sacrifice in taste or quality.

In a sort of wishful anticipation of Springtime, I made a batch of potato salad to go with the sausage, and put brown mustard and fresh horseradish on the table as well.  It was a fine supper for a mild late-winter night.



Christina said...

We go in big for kielbasy at Christmas and Easter ( I'm of Polish descent) and I'm usually loathe to buy anything that's not from a Polish deli. But I have resorted to G and W when the trip to the deli was not in the works, and it's pretty good. And this past Christmas, my husband picked up some Polish deli stuff, made in Brooklyn, and I was royally p-ed off as it had a label saying "contains MSG." Boo.
Awhile back, Stop and Shop sold a brand that was all natural and with no nitrites or nitrates...I think it was called Oven Bistro or something like that. They actually tasted pretty good. Alas the brand didn't last, and I grabbed up a whole pile of them when they were on clearance.

Andrew said...

Mmm, nothing reminds me of holidays as a kid more than kielbasa....
My Polish aunts would make up huge, juicy batches of them every chance they got.