4/17/08 | Vienna Sausage
[ Currently Eating: Leftover Coffee, Iced ]
Oh boy, sorry about the delay with the postingness this week. I was too busy trying to locate the dirty nickels and dimes under the backseat of the Dodge so that I’d have enough coinage to purchase the prime real estate being offered for sale next to the Hollywood sign. I plan on setting up a competing sign that says “Cheap Eats” right next to it in order to get the word out. It’s only 22 million. My word, that’s pocket change after all the cash I saved eating ramen for dinner this year.
In other news, (the kind that’s based more on things like Reality) the actual reason I’m late is… I was planning on reviewing this little can of Armour Vienna Sausage that I got this week at the Dollar Store. Yes, yes – I know everyone’s shopping at these 99 Cent stores now that there’s a recession. But I got distracted by the prospect of writing a parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” wherein I substitute the “Nevermore” lines with “Dollar Store.” Thusly:
“Once upon a midnight dreary,
While I crammed, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious Cup ‘O Noodles.
Bored, while I nodded, nearly snacking,
Suddenly there came a crackling,
As of Twinkies gently unwrapping,
unwrapping at my dormroom door.
“‘Tis some dude,” I muttered,
“Wanting snacks implores, ‘Hey —
Let’s go to, the Dollar Store’”
Wow, that’s just too much effort to write stuff like that. I don’t know how Alton does it – oh that’s right, he has a gazbillion dollar budget.
Actually, that wasn’t the only reason this review is late. The real reason is that I’ve been staring with trepidation at that stolid little can of Frankenstein Franks on my desk for days now. For some reason, this time around I just didn’t have the courage to pull the tab on top. It didn’t help that somehow I picked out a can that had dents on it. Usually, I’m really careful about checking cans for dents but this one snuck through.
Finally, I got up the nerve to open the can and was greeted by the following wonderful geometrical meat-log layout:
Boy, they sure cram them in there. Not a millimeter to spare between the snausages. I was actually quite impressed they could fit 7 of the 2 inch logs in the can. I had a bit of a time getting them out without damaging them sort of had to tilt the can upside down and shake, like you do with Spam.
They were so tightly packed in there that they were stuck together a bit. This is rather nice and dramatic for taking pictures, as seen above. It’s almost like – cut fingers. Man, I needed to wipe that thought out of my head before tasting them.
I’m familiar with Vienna sausages – I always thought of them as Earthquake food. If you don’t live in California, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. Well, it’s a good idea to keep a cache of canned food, water and a safety kit in several places in the house (and at work, and in your car) just in case The Big One™ doth strike.
The more preservatives in the food – the better. Otherwise, you’re going to have replace those cans every few years. Or not, I guess. Twinkies…
Anyhow, they’re made of chicken, beef and pork in chicken broth. I won’t begin to speculate on what parts of the three various animals are used. To me, they’re very similar to hot dogs in ingredients. However, they’ve got a “special” smell that’s hard to describe. If you’ve ever had Corned Beef Hash from a can, that’s what it smells like. Maybe also similar to Spam. My advice: Do Not Stop to Smell the Sausages. No. Proceed to mouth, pass go, and collect your $200.
The consistency is also a bit different than hot dogs. There is no “snap” whatsoever when you bite into one. It’s like a paté or something. It’s not as “fatty” as spam is. The taste is – well, interesting. I want to say it’s sort of bologna-ish. But not as good. Armour claims that they are the #1 brand of Vienna Sausage in America. All I can say is, I sure would not like to taste the #3 or #4 brand…
There is some occasional speck of “grit” you’ll notice when eating these. I was wondering if it’s ground up bone or something. I think any irregularities are more noticeable than in other meat puree products because the texture of Vienna Sausages is so fine.
To be truthful, I could only eat two of these doggies. That’s probably a good thing, since the recommended dosage is only three. And with that you get 17% of your total fat (19% of saturated fat), 14% of your cholesterol and 17% of your sodium. I ate mine at room temperature, plain. I was wondering – are there recipes for these Vienna Sausages? Is there a Vienna Sausage Cult I don’t know about? I’ve only had them plain, usually impaled on a toothpick as some sort of hors d’oeuvres. I wonder if people actually cook with them.
I don’t think they’ll be making a move into the main cupboard. For me, they’re going to remain as Earthquake Food rations. But at 50 cents for the one can, they seem like a decent buy for emergency food.
Edit: I actually fried up the remainder in a pan the next day, and I have to say they tasted a whole lot better. Still salty like heck, but if you eat it with toast or rice, it’s fine.
Price: $0.50 for 5oz can (7 sausages)
Found At: Dollar Store
Cheap Eats Score: 5/10