06 September, 2010

Dogs of Summer 8: Kayem Old Tyme Franks

Just because it's Labor Day and summer is more or less officially over doesn't mean I'm going to quit writing about The Dogs of Summer.  I've got far too many wieners in the review queue for that.  For example:  Kayem Old Tyme Beef and Pork Franks.

Massachusetts-based Kayem is one of the largest meat processors in New England, and they produce a huge variety of national and regional brands.  Now, if you think that they simply make a bunch of franks and stick different labels on them, you'd be wrong.  Kayem gathered these brands through years of mergers and acquisitions, and each branded product is made according to the recipes that came with the acquired companies.

Old Tyme Beef and Pork Franks has been a staple of the Kayem line for years, and tasting one now for me is like taking a bite of my childhood.  Kayem is one of the three frank brands my mom used to buy for us when we were kids, and the flavor is just as good now as it was then.  Slightly soft in texture with a rich and meaty flavor, Kayems are great for the grill or the griddle but not as good when steamed - the casings, while snappy, are thin and tender and don't steam well without splitting.  Lightly browned on the grill, however, the dogs are perfect.


Alan said...

I've recently embarked on hot dog tasting. It's a kickback from trying Coney Island recipes. So many brands of dogs. All are good, but only a few seem to hit the top.

Andrew said...

I've been eating as many hot dogs as possible this summer....
I've found that many of the cheaper brands you can pick up in dollar stores are actually much better than the standard Oscar Meyer kind.

Every time I see one of these hot dog reviews of yours, I get hungry.

Dave said...

Hot dog quality varies considerably. That is one of the reasons I've limited my reviews to "natural casing" franks. The cheaper "skinless" variety don't really do it for me - I usually find them to be too salty, or have too many fillers, or occasionally have "off" flavors.

If either of you find a variety that you think is especially worthy, though, drop me a line and I'll see if I can find it and try it out - regardless of whether it's a skinless or natural casing dog. I'm always up for a taste test.