Food & Drink

Looking for the best of the wurst? Here’s our guide to the best sausage in Sacramento

Sacramento offers many ways to get your fill of sausages.
Sacramento offers many ways to get your fill of sausages.

For the best flavors, variety and freshness, leave the prepackaged processed links to the amateurs and follow this guide to genuine handcrafted sausages made by real butchers.

Taylor’s Market

2900 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento; 916-443-6881, www.taylorsmarket.com

Sausage varieties: A dozen at any given time, with a rotating repertoire of 30

Meats: Pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, beef

Best-sellers: green chile, Parmesan-herb and Italian; meatloaf-stuffed in the summer, duck-cherry and Swedish potato in the fall and during the holidays. “We have a pretty good trade in people bringing us their family sausage recipes, and we’ll do a 5- or 10-pound batch,” co-owner Danny Johnson said.

Most unusual: seafood sausage, with salmon scraped from bone, salad shrimp and sometimes scallops (availability depends on how many salmon the store can source at any given time). “People ask about it, we tell them and they buy it immediately,” he said.

V. Miller Meats

4801 Folsom Blvd. Sacramento; 916-400-4127, www.vmillermeats

Sausage varieties: 12 to 14 at a time, with a rotating repertoire of about 45

Meats: pork, lamb, beef and chicken, with duck, turkey and game birds in the fall and winter

Best-sellers: Track 7 Bee Line honey blonde ale-infused bratwurst, chile verde (with Hatch green chills) and the Overlord (Hungarian style, with paprika, garlic and caraway). “One of my favorite things is to put on the genie hat and experiment,” owner Eric Miller said.

Most unusual: Dried cherry-juniper-pork from mangalitsa pigs, basil-peach-white wine pork sausage, and a smoked hot link with ghost chilies, nicknamed the Mother of Dragons. “It’s not unpleasantly hot, but it is uncomfortably hot,” he said.

Morant’s Old Fashioned Sausage Kitchen

5001 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento; 916-731-4377, no website

Sausage varieties: 12 fresh sausages, and 14 smoked sausages and other smoked meats, all in various international styles

Meats: pork, beef, chicken

Best-sellers: Sheboygan bratwurst, garlic-heavy Chicago-style Polish (from a customer’s grandmother’s recipe), Louisiana hot link (“It’s like major fire,” owner Dirk Muller said)

Most unusual: 80/20 pork-beef South African boerewors; 10 percent of the volume is seasoning

Adam’s Meat Shop

850 E Bidwell St. Folsom; 916-496-3020, www.adamsmeatshop.com

Sausage varieties: 25 at any given time, with a repertoire of 35. Hunters bring in their game for processing.

“Our raw sausages are quickly chilled, vacuum-sealed and frozen,” owner Adam Abramowski said. “”They fly out within a week.” Also: three flavors of smoked wurst, plus eight flavors of slim, eat-by-hand smoked pepper sticks.

Meats: pork (with 10 percent added beef), beef, chicken, elk, venison

Best-sellers: Waikiki (sweet ‘n’ spicy pork), bratwurst, jalapeno-cheddar (choose from pork, venison and elk)

Most unusual: Pork-beef South African boerewors

Corti Bros. Market

5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento; 916-736-3800, www.cortibros.com

Varieties: The deli counter is stocked with raw and smoked Schwartz sausage, but six housemade sausages are at the meat counter – coils and links of mild and hot Italian, corned beef hash, 50-50 (half ham, half sage sausage), salmon from fillets, and feta-spiked North African lamb merguez (with domestic lamb)

Meats: pork, beef, lamb, ham, salmon

Best-sellers: Mild and hot Italian, and fiery feta-spiked lamb merguez, a North African sausage that migrated to France. Corti’s uses only domestic lamb.

Most unusual: Corned beef hash with house-cured beef, potatoes, onions, salt and black pepper. “Literally everything you put into hash,” Butcher Tristan Gallo said. “It’s popular for breakfast.”

Whole Foods Market

Palladio center, 270 Palladio Parkway, Folsom; 916-984-8500, www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/folsom

Varieties: Ten, all containing fresh herbs and/or vegetables.

Meats: pork, beef, lamb, chicken, turkey. “We do have ground duck, and if a customer asked for duck sausage, we could accommodate them,” said Matt Sutton, meat and seafood team leader.

Best-sellers: Pork bratwurst, chicken-apple, mild and spicy Italian (pork or chicken), North African lamb merguez

Most unusual: lamb merguez

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