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Food Review: Eckrich Polska Kielbasa

Eckrich Polska Kielbasa
The easy open package was appreciated

With the exception of blood sausage, I don't think there's a sausage I don't like.  Andouille, Chorizo, Bratwurst, Cajun, Breakfast sausage, etc., it's all good!

Today I'm reviewing Eckrich Polska Kielbasa.  If you're not familiar with Kielbasa, it's a staple of Polish cuisine, basically any kind of meat that gets ground up and smoked.  There are many variations of Kielbasa, but the most popular version here in the U.S. is Polska, Keilbasa, a.k.a., Polish Sausage.  Traditionally, it's cured meat spiced with pepper, salt, marjoram, and garlic.

The history of Eckrich meats dates back to 1894, with the company earning national recognition for its products by 1932.  Now owned by Smithfield Foods but keeping the Eckrich label, Eckrich can be found at deli counters nationwide, including major grocery retailers such as Walmart and Kroger.

Eckrich Polska Kielbasa, sliced
A spin on bangers and mash

Polish sausage is excellent prepared on the grill, but it's also quite good sliced up and sauteed with vegetables and that's how I prepared it on this occasion. Sauteed with minced onions and the classic pairing of carrots and peas, the slicing of the sausage allowed for some caramelization, and a nice little crust develops on each piece of meat.

This is the first time I've tried the Eckrich brand of Polish Sausage and it's a good, but not a great sausage.  If not for that caramelization, this sausage is a bit bland, the spice notes of pepper, marjoram, and garlic are lacking.  It also lacks a robust smoke flavor.  Eckrich promotes the hardwood smoke on the packaging, but it's barely a subtle undertone.  The meat is also skinless, so there's no snap of a casing when you bite into it.

Available in a 14-ounce package at the mainstream grocery store for around $3.50, I'm giving Eckrich Polska Kielbasa 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Reasonably priced, it's an OK Polish Sausage, but look for other options when shopping for the treat.  Comparably priced, Hillshire Farms makes a better one, with stronger spice notes.

3 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

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