Is Premio Primo?
This is a question I often ask myself when I have the time. In the world of sausages, I personally think Premio takes the cake, I mean sauce. Premio sweet sausages are a mainstay in supermarkets across the northeast but once you move south, there are none to be found. When you contemplate moving to another state, weighing all the pros and cons, certain food availabilities are never factored into the equation. I never really thought much of sausages before and don’t think much of them now, except when I am looking for a nice bowl of sauce with spaghetti and meatballs on a cold Sunday night.
It seems whenever I think about New York, I always think of it in terms of food. The memories associated with certain smells and tastes are intertwined with my New York identity and Premio Sausages are one of those things that represent my former New York life. Having meatballs and spaghetti on a Sunday night in the colder months has been a long standing tradition in my household since my son was able to slather the spaghetti all over his face. I knew that once he started eating the sausages at a young age, he would never be a picky eater like his mother. I don’t even eat sausages but the flavor that seeps through once they are immersed into a pot of steaming tomato sauce is worth the cost of a round trip plane ticket to NY and back to Raleigh.
My husband perfected the art of our version of Sunday Sauce (not to be put into the same category as my former neighbor’s Sunday sauce – which I think is award winning) and throughout the fall and winter, when the temperatures dropped below 40 degrees it would be without question, what we would have for dinner on Sunday. There is something so special about having sauce as thick as gravy, sticking to your ribs and leaving you fulfilled and satisfied that it is necessary to tuck into bed by 8:00 PM.
Now that we are in Raleigh, and the temperature rarely dips below 50, we are attempting to follow in a similar path as we did before, trying to maintain those traditions when the days shorten and night comes around faster than before. The temperatures drop at night quite drastically but throughout the day the sun wins the temperature war, therefore not necessarily requiring those heavy meals that stick to the midsection of your body all while attempting to keep you warm throughout the long cold winter. Despite the moderate temperatures, we still have sauce on Sunday.
We bought several varieties of sausages that were available to us at the local Harris Teeter market and unfortunately, none withstood the unofficial Premio Comparison taste test, conducted at the Postyn test kitchen. We went to Whole Foods, a butcher and countless other meat outlets and much to our dismay nothing was as good as Premio Sweet Sausage – with just the right amount of fennel and goodness.
When you miss a certain food like these sausages, and you know that someone is coming to visit from the old neck of the woods, it is without question, reasonable to ask them to bring as much of that food they can carry with them. Forget the beef smelling dogs at the airport, or the strange looks they might encounter as they go through security, just ask. It is that important! With an insulated bag in tow my parents willingly delivered two packages of those very fine sausages when they came to visit in October. I consider it an entrance fee to the nice Bed and Breakfast we have going on at our house. That particular Sunday was pretty darn special – we had our guests and our sauce – life was pretty good.
Then we ran out.
I had to take matters into my own hands as this was going to be a very long winter if we couldn’t get a regular supply, so I contacted Premio in New Jersey http://www.premiofoods.com/Default.aspx to find out where I could purchase them. On their website, they mention Costco, Food Lion and Walmart. Determined to find them, I set out on a mission. The first two outlets didn’t carry them and quickly lost hope. I had to conquer my fear of stepping foot into a Walmart to go food shopping as it is well beyond my comfort zone. I swallowed my stereotypical snobbery, took a deep breath, and walked into a Walmart Super Store and low and behold, there they were, waiting for me in the meat section, 10,000 feet into the store. Because I was there, I decided to pick up a few other essentials. While I still struggle with the concept of doing an entire food shop at Walmart, I am quickly getting over it for the sake of the sauce!