Sunday, June 18, 2000

Johnsonville Vermont Maple Syrup Breakfast Sausage Review (by Gus Mellobar)

Some things in life are sacred. Well, o.k., SOME things are SOMEWHAT sacred. That first kiss. A new bicycle. A Tater Pig near the bingo tent at the Twin Falls county fair and rodeo. We're getting into warm, fuzzy territory here. That list couldn't be complete without the frisky taste of red hot sausage links colliding unintentionally (and some would argue quite digustingly) with the sweet, tasty syrup run-off of a jumbo stack o' hot cakes. Did someone say "boy-scout, grange hall pancake feed"? Damn straight, monkey-nuts!

You can bet your sweet Corey Feldman that Ol' Gus was pleased as punch to score a fine product that promises to harness the twin goodness (or was that evil?) into one convenient package. Johnsonville Vermont Maple Syrup Breakfast Sausage offers just such a tantalizing claim. Of course I had to immediately question: "Just how much maple-riffic dopeness are we talkin about, here?" I mean is this for real, or is it simply an idle threat? My hopes continued to soar as I noticed that the fourth ingredient listed on the package was none other than maple syrup.

Only one thing to do here: heat up that frying pan. I guess that isn't entirely correct. As the links come frozen, you will probably need a microwave for thawing purposes. After thawing properly, heat ya'sef up some hog fat, bear greasy, or even your own oily, sweaty by-product and get ta fryin'! On high heat, a couple quick minutes is usually all that it takes to brown them babies up nice and to also whip up a horrific "scorched meat" stench! Along with this charming smell, as I cooked, I noticed a strange puddle of black, sickly ooze surrounding the links. Now we're talkin'! Of course, proper ambiance is always essential to eating enjoyment. Yes, friends, there are certain things that can greatly enhance the enjoyment of all food no matter how simple. A case in point would be Van Camp's pork and beans (to which I am religiously devoted). Conventional wisdom (and even the directions on the can) claims that one should heat the beans. Wrong, wrong, wrong. These fine little brothers are, in fact, best enjoyed at room temperature. Some chilling may be acceptable as well (like if you have to store them in a bowl in the refrigerator for some reason), but DO NOT heat them intentionally. Gus has but one simple rule for cookin' da "sass-age", though, and that is: cook whilst listening to country music recorded NO LATER THAN 1970!

Anywho, now that we are done scorchin' them boys up, it's time to chow down! How do the maple syrup links TASTE? In a word: disappointing. The sausage DID NOT induce vomiting. This is somewhat sad in and of itself, as the potential to do so is a main requirement in my consideration of a "foodstuff" for review. I found the flavor to be quite smoky, only lighty sweet (again, I had hoped for overpowering sugary maple induced brain seizure), and completely edible. I had my "hankerin'" so built up, in fact that I had to solve the problem immediately by reaching for a bottle of Log Cabin and soaking the links. That did the trick, alright. I recommend these guys only for the weakest of maple sausage lovers. In fact, I am sure that they would probable be considered perfectly edible and perhaps enjoyable by even those who were somewhat repulsed by the idea.

Has Ol' Gus been cooking up products long gone that are probably unsafe for human consumption pulled from the bomb shelter of a woman born in the early 1900's? Let me address that first part. Johnsonville products are still in business and, in fact, can be contacted at As for the second part, hardcore are you? If you crave the "whack" as I do, then Johnsonville offers up several other savory alternatives. Beerbratwurst (yes, it contains "real beer"), Maple Sausage Patties, Low-fat Maple Links, Brown sugar and Honey Links, and finally, Apple Cinnamon Links ("made with chunks of real apple and a pinch of cinnamon spice " according to the Johnsonville site) are also offered for your fine dining pleasure. So hook Gus up with some o' them Apple Cinnamons and yer address, and you may just get some love in return. Until next time...

Gus wants a teenage girlfriend. Send those naked pictures (in or out of cheerleader uniform) care of this publication.