Esposito’s Italian Sausage with Provolone Cheese

This is a thin rope type sausage from Esposito’s in NY. If you’ve read our other Esposito reviews, you know that these guys can flat make sausage and this one is as good as the others.

While cooking, this sausage was very aromatic, filling the kitchen with a pleasant cheesy porky scent and splitting open the sausage after cooking provides a nice view of a juicy but near colorless interior mixture.

This is a very mildly seasoned sausage with a very pronounced provolone cheese flavor. It’s been my experience that the cheese in some sausages gives the finished product a slight chemical smell and taste or as is often the case in store bought mass produced sausages, the cheese just doesn’t show up at all in either taste or texture. That wasn’t the case with this sausage from Espositos. The provolone provided a nice smoky, creamy texture and clearly was a nice quality product before it went into this sausage.

A very good sausage for just about any cooking method, this is not a sausage that you bury in a dish with other strong flavors and is probably best enjoyed all by itself.

I would purchase this sausage again.

Ingredients: Pork, provolone cheese, water, salt, dextrose, pepper, romano cheese, msg, parsley, fennel, bha, bht with citric acid.

Johnsonville Three Cheese Italian Style Smoked Sausage

I found this sausage to be a little confusing. Am I getting an Italian sausage with 3 cheeses? Am I getting a smoked sausage with fennel and 3 cheeses? Am I getting 3 cheeses in a smoked sausage and if so, what’s Italian Style about that?johnsonville three cheese italian style smoked sausage

Apparently it’s a smoked sausage with 3 types of cheese (Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Romano) that are of course Italian cheeses (or at least they each originated in Italy). Quite frankly I was expecting some fennel but if there was some it wasn’t apparent to me when eating this product.

This is a fine grind sausage mildly spiced and nicely smoked. There is cheese but it doesn’t stand out in any way and in fact, it was almost tasteless. As far as I could tell, the cheese brought nothing to the table which was a bit disappointing.

Overall this is a basic smoked sausage that is being sold as a premium sausage product. The packaging is two large sausages, individually wrapped which probably just adds a bit to the cost but served no purpose for me. If you can find it on sale and you are looking for a decent smoked sausage I would say this fits the bill but if you are looking for a really good smoked sausage and cheese experience this is not it.

I would not purchase this product again.

Ingredients: Pork, water, mozzerella, parmesan, romano, salt, corn syrup, sugar, garlic powder, spices, beef, sodium phosphate, dehydrated red bell pepper, onion powder, dehydrated garlic, tomato powder, yeast extract, sodium erythorbate, natural flavors, sodium nitrite, collagen casings.

Hillshire Farms Gourmet Creations – Beef and Jalapeno with Monterey Jack Cheese Sausage

Some of the large (national? multi-national?) sausage companies are spinning out some products that, by name at least, are premium products. I for one applaud any effort to make a better sausage but I suspect that many of them will be much like Budweisers attempt to produce a premium beer. Pretty much tastes the same, just costs me more. I however will not rush to judgement and will review each sausage on its own merits.

Here we have a new product from Hillshire Farms labeled under their (new) Gourmet Creations collection. This collection includes the following:

  • Sweet Italian with peppers and mozzarella
  • Beef and Bacon with monterey jack cheese
  • Chicken Apple with gouda
  • Beef and Jalapeno with monterey jack cheese

hillshire farms gourmet creations collection sausage reviewFor my first foray into this collection I went with the Beef and Jalapeno, cooking it to browned on one side and then turning the sausage over, covering, and turning off the heat. The grind on this sausage is ok but overall the flavors are weak and muddled with no real Jalapeno flavor. If you’re going to put cheese in a sausage, which I personally like, the cheese should be good enough to make a dent in the flavor and texture. Unfortunately this cheese did not.

I’d love to list the ingredients and packaging information but unfortunately the wife tossed out the packaging and email to Hillshire went unanswered except for the $1 off coupon I received in the mail 4 days after requesting more information from the company about the ingredients, etc for this product.

So eventually, when I get back to the store, I will get back to this post and fill in the blanks but for now suffice to say that this edition of the Gourmet Creations Collection is a miss and not a sausage that I would purchase again.

 

Ok, in just a shade under 3 weeks I heard back from SaraLee, the parent company of Hillshire farms. Here’s the ingredient list for this sausage:

INGREDIENTS: BEEF, WATER, CORN SYRUP, PASTEURIZED PROCESS MONTEREY JACK CHEESE (CULTURED MILK, WATER, CREAM, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SALT, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SORBIC ACID [PRESERVATIVE], LACTIC ACID, ENZYMES), JALAPEN?O PEPPER, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PASTEURIZED PROCESS SHARP WHITE CHEDDAR CHEESE [CHEDDAR CHEESE (CULTURED MILK, SALT, ENZYMES), WATER, CREAM, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, LACTIC ACID, SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVE)], RICE BRAN, SALT, DEXTROSE, NATURAL FLAVORS, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, BROWN SUGAR, POTASSIUM AND SODIUM PHOSPHATES, YEAST EXTRACT, CILANTRO, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE. CONTAINS MILK

Esposito’s Chicken Sausage with Broccoli Rabe & Mozzarella

Historically I’ll admit that eating chicken sausage has generally left me feeling luke warm about the experience. Chicken itself is such a bland meat and most all the chicken sausage I’ve tried in the past hasn’t overcome that blandness regardless of the spice profile or ingredients.

espositos chicken sausage with mozz and broccoli rabe

 

This is a thin, rope style sausage from Esposito’s in NY and is one of 13 varieties they make as of this writing.

I wouldn’t place this sausage in my top ten favorite sausages but I will say that this is a quality sausage that has a fabulous flavor profile led by a mozzarella cheese product that is as good as any I can recall. When sliced open you can see the juicy pockets of cheese and that rich mozzarella flavor makes this a luxuriously creamy sausage. So much so that you really forget that it’s chicken.

The broccoli rabe was abundant but the star of this sausage (besides the nice fine grind and texture of the chicken) was the mozzarella. To date, this is the best chicken sausage I’ve eaten.

Meat: Chicken

Other major ingredients: Mozzarella Cheese and Broccoli Rabe

Ingredients: Chicken, Mozzarella, Broccoli Rabe, Salt, Water, Spices

Casing: Sheep

Cooking method: In a pan, browned on one side then turned over, turned heat off and put a lid on until cooked through.

Description from Espositos website: Lower in fat than our traditional pork sausages, yet full in flavor, our all natural chicken sausages allow us to provide the best of both worlds. Utilizing the same proprietary blend of fresh mozzarella as its pork cousin, this best selling sausage is one to savor.

Bottom Line – This is one of the few chicken sausages I’ve sampled that I would purchase again.