Last weekend we went ot a small, local air show. There is never much to eat, usually some local boy scout troop selling popcorn, hamburgers and canned sodas. This year there was a huge semi made into "the world's largest grill!" and their stand was selling Johnsonville Brats as if they were the be-all and end-all of meat sandwiches. This in the home city o' tri-tip.
We each got one, and it was very lightly grilled, with light heat marks, and starting to sweat fat. Served in an air-bread white bun, with condiments on the side, mustard, mayo, saurkraut and green pickle relish. I didn't put anything on mine, wanting to see what the flavor of the sausage was. My reaction; Meh? Decent size, flavor a bit mild, and very greasy. I tossed the bread and ate the sausage plain. Like Chino Wayne, I was irritated to have consumed the calories of something so mediocre.
The Johnsonville crew chief eagerly asked me how I liked it, and my less than enthusiatic reaction seemed to wound his pride. I told him we have lots of good regional sausages like Italian sweet and hot, Linguisa, Chorizo, Longanisa, etc., that are better, and that I probably wouldn't buy these in the grocery. His smile faded, and he thanked me for trying his product.
The only local exposure to these sausages is through heavy TV advertising. They are in the grocery but not an institution at local bbq gatherings as AFAIK. Are these really so popular in other areas of the country?
Would love to hear other sausage eaters weigh (hah) in on this.