Award Type

The ChefsBest Award for Best Taste is awarded to the brand rated highest overall among leading brands by independent professional chefs.

Johnsonville Beddar Cheddar Sausages

What Makes a Great Cheese-Wurst Sausage?

Bringing a tangy cheese flavor to sausage, cheese-wurst sausages can be grilled and served with vegetables or tossed into casseroles and salads. They also make a nice addition to appetizer platters and are delicious when served with your favorite picnic fare. For a savory summertime snack, serve them in a hot dog bun with relish or sauerkraut.

Our chefs define a high-quality cheese-wurst as having an even, dark red outside color, and an even, pinkish red color on the inside. The inside consistency should be a medium to fine grind, free of particulates. The cheese component is expected to be visible, not emulsified into the meat, and it should be spread evenly throughout. Cheese should not run out of the cooked sausage when it is cut.

The aroma of the sausage should exhibit complexity, with notes of meat, seasoning and possibly smoke. If present, the smoke aroma should be a natural hardwood smoke, not an artificial liquid smoke.

Taste balance is achieved when the sausages have a dominant salt intensity that is just below that of bacon. Sweetness from the sausage meat will follow, but it shouldn’t be lost under the saltiness. Unlike a regular sausage, a cheese-wurst sausage may also have some sourness that comes from the cheese.

The flavor profile should consist of meat flavor, followed by seasoning and cheese flavors. Smoke flavor is considered a stylistic choice. If present, it should have a subtle, hardwood character. The flavors, including the cheese, should blend together to create a complex overall flavor.

The texture of the outside casing should not be tough, but it may offer some appetizing resistance when bitten. The inside should be juicy, tender, and free of hard or chewy particulates. The cheese is expected to contribute complexity and creaminess to the sausage texture. There may be an element of greasiness, but the grease should not coat the mouth or linger on the palate.

Product Category Definition

The product judged was defined as cooked cheese-wurst sausages, not including regular bratwursts, other sausage styles or any uncooked sausages.

Also Judged

Hillshire Farm

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