Friday, September 30, 2011

Product Review: al fresco Chicken Sausages and Meatballs

I recently had the opportunity to try out an assortment of al fresco chicken sausages from Kayem Foods, Inc.  Originally from Massachusetts, I remember heading into Boston/Chelsea for doctor's appointments and driving by the Kamen Foods factory.  You could smell the hot dogs from what felt like miles away.  You knew you were in Boston when you could this -- it was great!  And, being a Red Sox fan, I have been buying and serving Kayem hot dogs to family and friends for years.  So, when I was presented with the opportunity to try out their al fresco chicken sausage product line, I jumped at the offer.  This would be more first experience in eating sausages that weren't made out of pork -- but, I was game, after being a faithful Kayem Foods customers for over 20 years.

I was sent the following al fresco products to try.  Below each short description is my personal thoughts on each product.  

al fresco Apple Maple Breakfast Chicken Sausage 7 links/8 oz package -- A delicate blend of apples and pure Vermont maple syrup.

My Thoughts:  What I liked most about this product and the others I sampled is that each package of sausages are fully cooked, so you only have to reheat in the microwave, broil or grill.  This is such a time-saver as a busy mom.  I ended up cooking these breakfast sausages Monday night, as part of our weekly breakfast for dinner meal.  We had eggs, homefries, toast and in place of bacon, I used al fresco Appl Maple Breakfast Chicken Sausage.  When my husband first looked at the sausages, he wondered why they were pale in color.  I told him that they were chicken, to his appointment.  But, I said you have to try them and see what you think.  They are a healthy alternative to greasy pork processed ones we are used to eating.  To make me happy, he agreed to try out.  He was pleasantly surprised at how good they tastes.  He could taste the apples and maple syrup, which was pleasing to the pallet.  By the end of dinner, we only 2 sausages left -- so, you can take it that is was a hit.  We will definitely be buying these sausages again, and also will seek out their other breakfast sausage flavors, including country style and wild blueberry.

al fresco Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Sausage 4 links/12 oz. per package -- Spicy Jalapeño peppers coupled with fire-roasted sweet red peppers.

My Thoughts:  My husband ended up eating these sausages, as spicy foods have been giving me acid reflux near the end of my pregnancy.  I made pasta one night and ended up broiling these sausages, so they looked grilled to my husband.  After heating up the sauce, I ended up a few of the sausages up into coin-shapes and added them to the sauce.  I was trying to disguise the fact that he was eating chicken sausages.  As he ate the pasta with the sausage sauce, he said he liked how the sausages were spicy and had a nice bite to them.  I waited until he was done eating to let him in on the secret -- he just ate chicken sausages.  When I finally told him, again, he was surprised at the taste.  His reaction was, "I guess we have a new sausage option that is healthy and tastes good, even if they don't look at appealing with the pale color."  So, again, I have added this to the list of foods to buy again at the market.

al fresco Sweet Italian Style Chicken Sausage 4 links/12 oz. per package -- A traditional favorite enhanced with fresh red and green peppers. 

My Thoughts:  We had these sausages tonight.  While I had it with pasta and sauce, my husband opted to make a sausage sub.  After biting into the al fresco Sweet Italian Style Chicken Sausage, we couldn't believe that you could actually see and make out the fresh red and green peppers that were added to the sausage.  These sausages had just the right sweetness to them, that they gave the meal a nice flavor.  My husband ended up having 2 subs, which is unlike him.  But, he said that seeing that they were made of chicken, they were healthy and thus he could have two subs.  I especially liked them served with the pasta and sauce.  Once on the plate, it looked like I spent 20-30 minutes in the kitchen preparing a meal that only took 10 minutes.  And, with no sausages left, clean up was a breeze.

al fresco Teriyaki Ginger Chicken Meatballs 16/ 12 oz per package -- Al fresco all natural chicken meatballs are made from lean skinless chicken meat and only the finest herbs and spices. They have absolutely no artificial ingredients, fillers, MSG or preservatives and are pork free and gluten free.

My Thoughts:  I ended up using the recipe on the back of the package, as I wasn't sure how to pair Teriyaki Ginger meatballs with other side dishes we usually eat.  So, I ended up making an Asian stir fry and added the meatballs, along with stir fry mix and served it all over white rice.  It was delicious!  And, after cooking up the meatballs on the stove, it make the house smell good.  The meatballs weren't greasy like others we buy and cook up from market.  And, you could really taste the teriyaki and ginger flavors. This is definitely a dish I will be cooking up again.  Next time, though, I was to try their tomato basil flavored meatballs. Yum!!!  

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed each of the alal fresco chicken sausages and meatballs at your local market.  You will be glad you did!

Don't forget to follow al fresco on Facebook and Twitter for news and special offers.

Disclosure:  I was sent sample of al fresco products in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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