Food Porn: Spar’s European Sausage Shop
by Don Burtless on February 18, 2010
I don’t know how I didn’t notice, but a new episode (see bottom) of True Blue Buffalo’s All Access Pass was released back in December and featured Buffalo’s love of Polish cuisine and Dyngus Day. I finally went to Broadway Market last year for the first time in my life and experienced all of its wonders (if you haven’t been there, go… NOW) but I never knew that I lived only a few short miles from a place tha offers a similar food selection. Spar’s European Sausage Shop is one of the last true butchers in Buffalo…due to the massive super stores of Tops and Wegmans, the local butcher has kind of become obsolete. But Spar’s is still making some old fashioned sausages with amazing flavors and using pieces of meat that you can’t find just anywhere (hello headcheese).
Where Food is Porn
What’s remarkable is I found this out right as I’ve been craving sausage (in particular blood sausage) like crazy and was actually planning on going to the Polish Villa this evening with Alli. But once I realized that Spar’s is located about 10 minutes from my house, I knew I had to attempt to cook a meal myself.
I can now say that, as I type this, I have satisfied every sausage urge I may have for the next month or so. I ended up ordering 4 different types of sausage because I wanted a variety. The white sausage on the far left was their Weisswurst, directly to the right were two Smoked Debreziner Sausages, above those was the Smoked Mild Hungarian and the sausage on the bottom was Smoked
Linguisa. For those who are curious how I prepared these…I put 2.5 cans of Pabst Blue, some chopped onions, and the sausages in a large pot and cooked it all on a low heat for about 50 minutes. In retrospect, I wish I would have let it cook on a lower heat because some of the smoked sausages got a little overcooked and tough by the end (probably due to my inexperience).
The Weisswurst was the most mild of all 4 and basically exploded while cooking. Hopefully that wasn’t the cause of the mild taste, but in any case, I had no idea that it was made with veal. Then again, I haven’t had a lot of experience with veal, so the taste isn’t that familiar to me to begin with. Out of the 4, this is the one I probably wouldn’t order again… that’s just my personal preference. The other three were all smoked, meaning they were cooked and then smoked for some additional flavor. The Smoked Linguisa had a spicy flavor to it, probably the spiciest out of all of them. It had the “roughest” texture out of all of the sausages; inside the casing all the “good bits” were larger and less ground than your typical sausage. The Smoked Debreziner had some heat to it as well and was a pork sausage. Even though I cooked it, it actually didn’t need to be at all and would be great for a cheese and cracker platter for a future party. The Smoked Mild Hungarian had probably the strongest taste out of all 4, and it was delicious. Very similar to the Debreziner, with a smooth, ground up texture consisting of beef and spices. Like the Debreziner, it also could have been served cold.
Overall, on my first trip to Spar’s I walked away with some new favorite sausages, but I didn’t really venture out of my comfort zone. However, to be honest, this was my first time ever walking into the store and I was a little intimidated. Next trip will find me ordering fresh sausages (raw, uncooked) and maybe try out some of their cold cuts (i.e. Headcheese). But if anyone is looking for something different and wants to support some a great local business, please stop by Spar’s on 405 Amherst Street downtown, right near Grant St./Buff State.
Here’s the video that inspired my trip (around the 7 minute mark):