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Wurst Kitchen:Sausages galore, Westphalian, Black Forest Ham, Kassler Ribs-Aurora

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Wurst Kitchen:Sausages galore, Westphalian, Black Forest Ham, Kassler Ribs-Aurora

tony | Jun 23, 2003 11:46 AM

You know when you find a food shop or restaurant that's new to you and maybe two or three things look interesting and you want to try them and then you find another place and you are so overwhelmed because you want to try everything. This place was like that if you are a carnivore. I didn’t know where to start. My father-in-law tipped me off to the place after he took a trip and brought over a few things to cook for father’s day. We tried some of the Sicilian sausage which was excellent with a good pepper kick and some wine in it giving it that tang you find in a dry sausage or salami. I’m not sure if it was from the wine or a particular curing salt or spice. He also gave me a kassler rib AKA bone in cured and smoked pork chop which I still have in my freezer.

The wife and I went on Saturday morning after a trip to the Aurora farmers market which was nice, but not a destination. More plants, baked goods and tschokes than veg. Anyway this sausage shop is tucked in the middle of a residential neighborhood and does little or no advertising. There has been a butcher/sausage shop in this same location since 1895 and they have some cool pics from the early 1900’s to prove it. Being the compromiser one must be in these situations, I let the wife choose the sausages and I chose a few other things. The first thing which caught my eye was the dark reddish mahogany Black Forest Ham and Westphalian ham. The Black Forest ham appeared like prosciutto but a bit darker. Similar to speck, this cured uncooked ham has a lot going for it, smoky, salty and sweet but well balanced and distinct from the others of its dry cured leg brethren. The Westphalian Ham which I did not try looked good also, a bigger cut it is traditionally from pigs raised on acorns in Germany’s Westphalian forest and then smoked with juniper and beech branches to give it a distinct taste according to a quick search.

We bought some housemade bologna which was flecked with black pepper and tasted better than anything one might find at the average grocery store deli case. I bought two kassler ribs which were promptly dispatched to my father for his Sunday dinner. Nothing says I love you like the gift of meat.

The sausages/wursts: I asked if they had a list, but the girl behind the counter said they constantly are making new things so there is no such list. They have a lot of traditional stuff and a fair range of what one might call fou-fou or fancy sausages. Knockwurst, mettwurst, fresh Polish, smoked Polish, dried Hungarian, dried snack sausages, sweet Italian, hot Italian and Sicilian are what I can remember but there were many more. The wife chose a “Kicker” sausage which is similar to a hot link, one with sundried tomoates and peppers, one with lime and tequila and one other mystery sausage. We simmered them in beer with onions and then finished them on the grill. All were good and all were distinctly flavored and not the least bit cloying. So...if you live in the Western suburbs or find yourself in the area, you could do much worse than stopping in here. They also have a well stocked selection of eastern European dry goods, a few freshly made strudels, semmelknodel mixes, pickles, ajvar and many, many mustards.

Wurst Kitchen
638 2nd Ave
Aurora, IL
630-898-9242

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