There’s nothing better to amp up the dining section of a magazine than a good old-fashioned taste test. And considering Labor Day, a popular grilling time, is this month, what better food to judge than sweet Italian sausage.
A select group of six sausage enthusiasts on staff participated, blind-tasting seven sweet Italian sausages from around Westchester. Rain prevented the sausages from being grilled outside; instead, they were broiled in a grill pan in the office test kitchen for approximately 8 minutes a side. Tasters considered five elements (texture, spicing, meat-to-fat ratio, juiciness, and flavor) and then rated each sausage on a scale of 1 (ugh!) to 5 (sausage heaven!).
The sausage from Longo’s Park Deli in Port Chester scored highest (22.5 out of a possible 30), the only one that did not receive a score below 3 from any judge. “The trimming stage is important,” says Park Deli owner Tony Longo. “Getting just enough fat out but leaving enough in for flavor. Also, you have to work at the right temperature. If it’s too hot while mixing, it won’t hold together.” In the summer, the deli sells about 450 to 500 pounds of Italian sausage a week.
Longo’s Park Deli
203 S Regent St, Port Chester
179 Main St, Port Chester
Mr. Kold Kuts
786 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers
La Piccola Gourmet Italian Deli
885 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers
1 Stew Leonard Dr, Yonkers
A&S Fine Foods
986 Broadway, Thornwood
Uncle Guiseppe’s at Torino Market
366 Pelham Rd, New Rochelle
* based on 6 judges, each rating from 1 to 5