Bernie’s Fine Meats in Wisconsin = C- Rated Boudin

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Headed north of Milwaukee, up along the shore of Lake Michigan, you’ll come upon Port Washington and Bernie’s Fine Meats – Sausage and Cheese.

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A well-stocked store with a range of great products.

Ambiance: A compelling European style meat shop filled with a selection of cheeses (of course), regional wines, and a variety of meats and sausages that is truly awe inspiring. Hungarian Style Head Cheese? Yep. Liver Head Cheese? Check. Slovanian Blood Sausage? Indeed. Kiszka (pork liver, pork snouts, buckwheat grits, beef blood, salt, spices, sugar)? Oh yeah. This is a great stop for visitors, but it is obvious that it is a locals’ place.

Location: 119 Franklin Street, Port Washington, WI 53074

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THE BOUDIN

Price: about $4.50 per lb.

Presentation: The demand for it isn’t that great in Wisconsin so they keep it in packs that are frozen.

Casing: The casing is super rubbery and loose.

Meat/Rice Ratio: More meat (er . . . . meat product) than rice. The rice is swimming in the concoction of other ingredients.

Texture: Loose and soupy. The squishy link holds a very loose filling that spills out of the casing when it is cut. The rice kernels are ground and the meat is finely ground..

Spice: Hot and Spicy.  Seriously, who’d have thought it’d be this hot?

Overall Flavor: Unappealing. The link has a distinct flavor that does not remind one of boudin. It kind of tastes like chorizo, but that isn’t really fair to chorizo. Maybe it’s the snouts they use? The link is heavily spiced, but the underlying meat is of the organ variety and that is hard to successfully cover up.

Comments: They told me that they made the boudin for a local restaurant that is no longer in business but that some folks still come in asking for it. Interesting.

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The filling can’t wait to get out of the link. Here’s a link to their site: www.berniesfinemeats.com

Reviewed April 2012

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