Mark Nascimento contacted me several months ago, asking if I’d be interested in tasting and reviewing his very first batch of Maui Styled Linguica for mass production and sale when they were completed. To which I was more than honored, hence what we’re showcasing here today!
“Small kid time, I’m sitting on top of the chest freezer in the corner of the kitchen so i can see what the grown-ups are doing. They had a pig on the table and the men were using a saw and cleaver to break it down into smaller pieces while the women sliced it into little cubes and put the meat in a large tub to marinate in a spicy Vinho D’alhos (pronounced Ving-la-doish)which is a traditional Portuguese meat marinade over night.
The morning found me on my vantage point, watching the women stuff the meat into casings with a funnel while the men tied the sausage into rings and set them on sticks to go into the smoke house. The smell of the sausage cooling on the table still lingers in my mind!
The scene would repeat itself a couple times a year throughout my youth until my dad (George) and my uncle Louie got the use of a grinder/stuffer which was less labor intensive and more fun!
Uncle Louie was also the sausage maker for the Ulupalakua Ranch Cold Storage and produced the AKAHI brand of Linguica and “The red hot dogs”. I remember his red fingers from the dye he used on the casings.
I grew chili peppers while in the Future Farmers of America for uncle Louie and he would trade me hot dogs and linguica for them. It wasn’t until we moved to the mainland and I was out of the Marine Corps that i decided to take sausage making seriously. My dad and I made numerous batches and recorded all our measurements so the linguica would turn out the same every time.
He used to say a piece of fried linguica “should dance on your tongue and hit every taste bud.” That’s the kind of linguica we make today!”
The picture of the two men are Louie on the left and my Dad, George on the right. The other zip is from my uncles time with Ulukalakua and Akahi…………
Fried some up and the smell is awesome and it dances on one’s tongue, stuffing, and smoking tomorrow.
If you don’t mind we will test one of our shipping modes with you. I’ll be sending you about eleven pounds of product to share with your friends”
Sample some, Cuz
So there you go. Some serious history Mark has in the heritage of Hawaii’s unique style of Portuguese Linguica Sausage. And he wasn’t kidding when he said he’d send me 11 pounds worth. I was like “Damned! That’s a lot of sausage!” And I thought I was packin’! lol
What you’re looking at there are eight vacuum-sealed packages of Nascimento’s Maui Styled Linguica (the red colored ones), with most being “hot” and a couple not labeled “hot”. Each package of two sausages weighs about .65 pounds (give or take), and are priced at $9.25/lb., for a total price of about $6/package of two.
The tiny brown sausages below them are 4 packages of Nascimento’s Maui Styled Keke Ling. “Cute” name, if I might say so myself, and one I’ve NEVER heard of before. Each package contains 9 Keke Ling “weiners”, with a total weight of about 1/2 pound, priced at $9.99/lbs., for a total price of $5/package.
The ingredients for Nascimento’s Maui Style Linguica are: Pork, water, salt, binder (wheat flour, yellow corn flour, rye flour), whole garlic, red wine vinegar, spices, crushed red pepper, paprika, sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate and monosodium glutamate.
Unpacked and sliced up, Nascimento’s Maui Styled Linguica have a distinct red color of the casing, providing an attractive contrast to the light tone of the spiced ground pork filling. This is the first Portuguese Linguica I’ve ever tried that’s been colored this red.
On to the Keke Ling, the casing has a more smoked color tone to it, while the spiced ground pork filling looks very similar to the Linguica, down to the size of the grind, as well as marbleization of fat.
The ingredients for Nascimento’s Maui Style Keke Ling are exactly the same as the Linguica as listed above.
Speaking of ingredients, it must also be noted that according to the label, Nascimento’s sausages are processed by Hamilton Packing Co., a meat processing company based in Hamilton, Montana.
Oh, and If size matters to you, each Linguica measures 9″ length x1″ diameter, while each Keke Ling measures 3½”Lx3/4″D. <—Awe, pooh’ ‘ting. lol!
All’s next is to pan fry them bad boys until golden crispy, and serve ’em up how, now?
Yep. That’s how… Podagee Sausage, Eggs and Rice! You know da’ rules, cuz! Or if you’re Samoan, “Cush”. Or if you’re “Moke” “Cush’in”. LOL!!!
OK, let’s do this…
See, when you eat Podagee Sausage, Eggs and Rice, da’ egg gotta’ be Sunny side up. Gots ‘da! You NEED that runny, tasty, protein-rich yolk to “bust” all over da’ rice and coat the sausage. It’s kinda’ like, oh never mind. lol Also notice I drizzle small ‘kine shoyu action on top da’ rice, laddat’. You know it, braddah. I bet when I talk Pidgin (in writing), half you guys who read this shake your head, like “Oh brother, here he goes again. Stop it!” LOL!! Why? What? Hah? What? Boddah’ you? lol
Nah, kay, kay, seriously. EXCELLENT. Mark, you da’ man! You got a winner here my friend!
The Hot Linguica has just the right amount of salt and spices, which the latter of I might note that I taste what I think is Chinese Five-Spice in in there, as I swear I taste a hint of Star Anise. That said, if you’re a fan of Chinese style sausages, this is kinda’ like that, and a Portuguese Sausage all rolled into one.
The pork grind could be a little more course, yet there’s just enough fat content in the marbleization to keep it moist and flavorful, so not really a complaint, but more a suggestion.
As for heat, I didn’t really get that, and I tried the one labeled “Hot”. And trust me, my palate is very sensitive to Scoville units, but this didn’t come across as hot to me at all. So Mark, you might want to add more Chili pepper into the ones you label “Hot” in future batches. I also think it could use some sugar (or honey, or perhaps mirin!) to balance it out and enhance the flavor of the pork, and the very reason why I like Rego’s Purity brand so much.
As for the casing, I’d like more “snap” to it, which typically most collagen casings such as this don’t have. Yet it still works. I’m not really a fan of the red food dye coloring the casing, however the contrasting color to the filling does make for an interesting presentation on the plate.
All that said, I give Nascimento’s initial production run of Maui Styled Linguica 4 SPAM Musubi. Add a little sugar and perhaps try a snappier casing, and this would be a solid 5. I’m a fan! Braddah cuz! lol
As for Nascimento’s Maui Styled Keke Ling “mini weiners”, being the color they are, I expected them to taste smokey, but that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, they basically taste like a shrunken down version of the Linguica, no more, no less. Everything I described about the Linguica above applies here. That said, I’m going to give them 3 SPAM Musubi (Excellent), where if Mark smokes them, they could easily win the highest 5 SPAM Musubi award. They’re still excellent, and you shouldn’t kick them out of the bedroom, err, I mean kitchen anytime soon.
Ah, well that was a mighty tasty, slightly naughty fun “session”. Now to get second and third opinions of the remaining (TON of) Nascimento’s Maui Style Linguica and Keke Ling sausages I have from family and friends.
P.S. Mark, in honor of your father, and now you in your contribution in keeping the Hawaii Linguica tradition alive, I created these logos for you…
The idea is that it looks like a vintage Polaroid photo. The Stencil font is meant to give it a military look in honor of your service in the Marine Corp. Semper Fi!