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Vienna Sausage Party

While I haven’t seen the movie yet, we had a “Sausage Party” of our own recently out of sheer lunchtime boredom, comparing the well known brand Libby’s® Vienna Sausage with a knock-off under Walmart’s Great Value™ brand.

In economically better times, these infamous “micro weiners in-a-can” may not be a regular staple in the pantry. However, while growing up when our parents were struggling to make ends meet, like SPAM, Vienna Sausage was THE go-to protein of choice. And it probably still is for many of you, irregardless of income level.

Personally I never cared for Vienna Sausage as a kid, nor do I now. In fact, I can’t remember EVER  personally buying a can of the stuff, at least for my own consumption.

In my opinion, Vienna Sausage tastes basically like a tube-shaped version of Deviled Ham Meat Spread; that of which what I’d imagine cat food tastes like. It sure smells the same. Bringing to mind “that” SPAM Spread I reviewed a while back I somewhat detested.

That said, still, I don’t detest Vienna Sausage. I’ll eat it if it’s say, in an omelette like this…

We’ll get to more ways to serve Vienna Sausage shortly (no pun intended), however first let’s compare these two brands.

Notice Walmart’s Great Value Vienna Sausage has more girth, appearing plump and swollen compared to the Libby’s brand. Which has me thinking already that it has more “filler” mixed in it with a chemical name requiring 4 syllables to pronounce properly. lol

Actually in slight variation, the ingredients for Walmart’s Great Value Vienna Sausage are quite standard fare for most other types of highly processed weiner/sausages and “meat in a can”: mechanically separated chicken, water, beef, pork, salt, corn syrup. contains 2% or sess of: natural flavors, garlic powder, dextrose, sodium nitrite. Broth: chicken broth.

Not surprisingly, the Libby’s Vienna Sausage ingredients are almost identical: mechanically separated chicken, chicken water, beef, pork, contains less than 2% of salt, sugar, spices, sodium erythorbate, flavoring, sodium nitrite, garlic powder.

See, I told you there’s at least one “chemical” ingredient with at least 4 syllables in “erythorbate”, which I won’t bother looking up, nor do I want to know. lol

Getting to it, we (4 of us) tried each one side-by-side, having the Libby’s® and Great Value™ Vienna Sausage handed to us blindly, consecutively one after the other, using simply a glass of water as a palate buffer (chaser).

And guess which one unanimously won the sausage shootout? Walmart’s Great Value won! The Great Value® beat Libby’s Vienna Sausage by an admittedly slim margin, having a slightly better, natural tasting “meaty” flavor and more pleasing, firmer texture vs. the slightly more artificial tasting and mushier Libby’s®. And this is eating it straight out of the can at room temp’, not pan-fried, as most (sane) folks would do to serve it.

Now let’s crank up the fun and take this from a Vienna Sausage Party to a Vienna Sausage Fest!  As in the various fun ways to serve and eat Vienna Sausage. Oh like with “Saimin” (instant ramen) as shown above. Yeah, that’s pretty “ghetto”, but hey, sometimes them “Cheap Eats” are the most satisfying!


Fried Rice Pork Adobo Omelet with side of Vienna Sausage. Image source: Vincent T./Yelp

If not mixed IN the omelette, the obvious other way being pan-fried on da’ side with eggs (and rice, not shown) is another popular way us locals enjoy eating Vienna Sausage for breakfast…  or lunch… or dinner… or at 2am in the morning after a rough night. lol

One thing I’ve never seen in person or tried are Vienna Sausage Pig-in-the-Blankets. Yet whaddaya’ know? A quick Google search and yep, it’s been done!…


Vienna Sausage Pig-in-the-Blankets. Image source: SnapDish.com

Arroz Con Salchichas (Rice with VIenna Sausage). Image source: Snapguide.com

Awe, da’ cute!

Nor have I seen or tried a Vienna Sausage Manapua, which surprisingly did NOT show up in Google.

I’ve also never tried Vienna Sausage in a bun like a hot dog, yet not surprisingly, that’s been done.

Pomai’s future dog, “Salchichas”

While searching there, an interesting dish I found is this Latin dish called “Arroz Con Salchichas”, which translates to “Rice with Vienna Sausage”. How Vienna Sausage translates to “Salchichas” is beyond me, but if I ever get another dog, I’m naming him or her “Salchichas”. For short, he would be “Sal”, or her “Sally”.  “Awe, your dog is so cute! What’s his name?” I reply, “Salchichas” but you can call  him “Sal”. LOL!!!


Shoyu Mango (green/semi-ripe Mango in Shoyu mixed with vinegar)

By far the most bizarre way I’ve tried Vienna Sausage (as if the sausage itself isn’t mysterious in itself) is straight out of the can and added in a bowl of Shoyu mixed with Vinegar, the same way you make Shoyu Mango as shown above. So make pretend them mangoes are Vienna Sausage, and there you go. IIRC, they also added some Tobasco into the mixture for added kick.

What’s funny is, this “Shoyu Vienna Sausage” was served as a pupu (appetizer) at a housewarming party I attended up in Makawa’o on Maui a while back. Where I tell you, when that landed on the table, I CRACKED-UP! I was like, “WTH is this?! Are you serious?! Shoyu Vienna #&%))in’ Sausage?! Oh man, this SO MUST be a Maui thing.” lol

Yet  you know what? Not bad! Pretty good, actually. That tangy zip from the vinegar combined with the robust depth of the shoyu not only masks the weirdness of the sausage itself, but also compliments its mystery meat weirdness. Especially when the shoyu and vinegar soak into the more porous inner parts of the sausage.

Vienna Sausage: Love it or hate it? Always got a can or two (or whole case) in your pantry? Any brand and/or flavor preference such as Hot & Spicy, Smoked or Barbecue? How do you prepare and serve it?

Related links:
Vienna Sausage Madness (a smackdown on a variety of flavors!) – Wouldn’t Ya’ Know It blog

28 thoughts on “Vienna Sausage Party

  • September 5, 2016 at 12:47 pm
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    Pomai, there are 100s of recipes for Vienna sausage! Appetizers, soups, salads, main course, sides and deserts. Vienna spread with egg, mayo, green sweet relish spread on crackers or Vienna fried rice are quick and easy.

    Reply
    • September 6, 2016 at 11:29 am
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      Pomai,

      The following recipe you dismissed as being mainland however it is in the following book you can purchase anywhere in Hawaii.

      “Hawai’i’s Best Pupu & Potluck” by Jean Watanabe Hee, Mutual Publishing under heading “Dips & Spreads”; VIENNA SAUSAGE SPREAD on page 21; Recipe: Vienna Sausage Spread, yield 1/2 cup: 1 can Vienna sausage (5oz) drained, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 2 teaspoon pickle relish, 1/2 teaspoon green onion, minced, pepper to taste, 1/2  teaspoon onion, minced (optional): directions: Crush Vienna sausage with fork. Add rest of ingredients and mix. Serve with crackers. Note: This is for you olt-timers who love Vienna sausage and remember eating deviled meat spreads out of a can.

      Of course you still being a spring chicken would not recognize anything later than 1980 as that would be before your time.

      The old stand by were to cook Vienna sausage in BBQ sauce and serve on tooth picks or wrap with bacon, grill and serve with or without BBQ sauce on tooth picks plus the old standard adding to can of beans and weiners. In New England we added Vienna sausages to American Indian succatash (stewed yellow sweet corn and lima beans).

      Reply
      • September 6, 2016 at 1:28 pm
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        Ken,

        That Vienna Sausage Spread actually sounds pretty good, especially because it has relish and onions in it (two condiment faves of mine); enough where I’d try making it myself just to try it.

        As for deviled meat spread out of the can, I once worked with a former Army Sergeant who introduced me to a popular combat field snack they used to eat. Which was deviled meat spread on a cracker with a dash of Tobasco sauce (the one in them tiny little Tobasco bottles). It’s actually pretty good! Surprisingly being otherwise how much I dislike deviled meat spread.

        The operative word to most of the dishes you mention would be DISGUISING the flavor of the Vienna sausage with all those other bold/distinctive flavored ingredients. Especially the one with bacon wrapped around it. That’s why I don’t care for bacon in my burgers, IMO because it totally masks the flavor of the beef patty. Mushrooms (and onions) on the other hand ENHANCE the beef flavor.

        Hwy, there’s an idea! Sauteed Mushrooms & Vienna Sausage Kabobs! I’ll add that to my list!

        Reply
  • September 5, 2016 at 1:02 pm
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    Hey Pomai,

    I remember small kid time going fishing with my dad and for lunch he would bring along a couple of cans of Vienna sausage, a can of pork & beans and a half a loaf of sandwich bread.  He would put a scoop of beans on a slice of bread, lay a couple of sausages on it, then fold it in half and that was it.  Straight out of the cans, and we thought it was great.  I guess everything tastes good at the beach.

    I still eat Vienna sausage with pork & beans and a dash of ketchup with rice once in a while.  Heated up though.

     

    Reply
  • September 5, 2016 at 6:04 pm
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    @ Ken – Yeah, I realize there’s a bunch of recipes and dishes out there done with Vienna Sausage. Especially being it’s probably a lot more popular on the mainland than SPAM, based on sales figures alone. However in Hawaii, I haven’t seen much else done with Vienna Sausage except it served pan-fried as a breakfast meat with eggs and rice. Or simply straight outta’ the can out of sheer hunger. I don’t even recall ever seeing a Vienna Sausage Musubi… yet. That’s why when I got it served in Shoyu and Vinegar I was like, WTH? lol

    Here’s a list of dishes I’ll prepare with Vienna Sausage in future blog posts (out of curiosity, if anything):

    • Vienna Sausage Musubi (duh!)
    • Vienna Sausage Banh Mi (<–I’m putting money on that one as da’ winnah!)
    • AndaViennaDog (Vienna Sausage meets Andagi)
    • Vienna Sausage & Pork & Beans Sandwich (a Hawaii fisherman’s classic!)

    …OK, that’s it. I can already predict a blood pressure check after that. lol

    @ Kyle K – I’ve added your dad’s Vienna Sausage & Pork & Beans Sandwich to my list above. THAT I gotta’ try! And it’s interesting that you point how everything tastes better at the beach. It’s them ocean spray negative ions (a good thing)!

    Reply
  • September 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm
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    So. Here is my wisdom on Vienna sausage: When I was young they had no chicken. They were much fatter and you had to shake the can. The most popular was Van Camp’s I believe, with Armour next. They tasted a bit different than today. Sure seemed easier to eat in my mother’s pack lunch in those days when I worked construction. Now, surprisingly, Great Value is one of the only I can stand.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2016 at 9:13 pm
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      PS. Tip Top Cafe in Lihue makes an omelette with a whole can.

      Reply
      • September 5, 2016 at 10:07 pm
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        pat,

        According to Tip Top Cafe’s menu posted on Yelp, you must be referring to the “Kunimura Special Omelet”, dubbed “Our Mayor’s Favorite”: 2 eggs, Vienna Sausage  & Green Onion. $9.75. Add tomatoes 25 cents. It doesn’t mention using an entire can, nor does anyone in the reviews point that out, so must be something only you’re aware of.

        If I opened a diner, I’d name it the “1 Can Vienna Sausage Omelet”. Add another can for just $1 extra! Same for the other preferred local style breakfast meats: “1 Can SPAM Omelet” and of course the “1 Link Portuguese Sausage Omelet”. lol

        Reply
        • September 6, 2016 at 12:15 pm
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          Yup. it is the Kunimura.

          Reply
    • September 6, 2016 at 8:43 am
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      That’s right.  Van Camp’s was the best.  Libby’s of today is nothing like it.  I’ll have to try that Walmart stuff.

      Reply
      • September 6, 2016 at 9:18 am
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        Kyle and Pat,

        I wonder if you guys are actually referring to a classic Van Camp’s product called Beenee Weenee?…

        Gotta’ say, that name is so wrong in modern day street slang, yet fun, all the same! lol

        Reading through Amazon reviews on Beenee Weenee, everyone describes the sausage in it as being sliced-up hot dog, not Vienna Sausage. Interestingly for Kyle, one guy said Beenee Weenee was their favorite companion while out on fishing trips, noting even the fish loved the stuff. lol

        If you go to Van Camp’s website, there’s not one Vienna Sausage product. Of which to note that Van Camp’s is under Con Agra now. I always thought Libby’s was the original Vienna Sausage, as that’s the brand I remember in stores since a kid. For me, Armour Star was known mostly for their big bricks of luncheon meat, along with their hot dog-like SPAM knock-off, “TREET”.

        Reply
        • September 6, 2016 at 9:33 am
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          Van Camp used to make Vienna sausage, but I haven’t seen it for many years.  They were darker and richer tasting than the competition and the liquid in the can was also darker.  Interesting about the fishing comment.  I went to Florida on a vacation once and one of the locals said they used raw hot dogs for bait for some of the fresh water species.

          Reply
          • September 6, 2016 at 12:18 pm
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            Kyle, exactly. Van Camp’s had a whole lot of meat products. Can hot dogs, canned tamales, etc. I used to be stock clerk as a 15  year old. Dropped after Van Camp’s was acquired by ConAgra.

  • September 6, 2016 at 2:28 am
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    Hey Pomai sorry to crash the sausage comments here but I just wanted to say I love this blog. I have just finished reading all your posts from the very beginning and it has been an entertaining journey! Mahalo and keep up the great work.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2016 at 4:01 am
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    Pomai, when I was a kid mom made mini musubi with vienna sausages in rice

    rolls.  She seaweed around it too.  Great for snack or with lunch.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2016 at 9:22 am
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    @ Mr. T – Mahalo for the kind words… and take care of that mohawk. I Pitty the fool be messin’ wit’ it. lol

    @ Kelike – Like I said, I’m quite surprised as popular Vienna Sausage is next to SPAM here, that it’s not offered in Musubi form in the stores. Not ever that I’ve seen. It’s on my to-do list in my reply above to Ken.

    Reply
    • September 6, 2016 at 12:12 pm
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      I bet no one heard of the lowly VIenna sausage on the menu in a tea party. When we were kids my aunt used to have tea parties for us kids in which she had a real tea pot and tea cups and real tea. . On the menu Love’s white bread cookie cutter cut out animals frosted with butter colored with food coloring and the piece de risistance, slices of Vienna sausage on ladylike toothpicks that we dunked into Aloha Shoyu. We’d get dressed up as best we could and those memories have lasted a lifetime.

      Reply
      • September 6, 2016 at 6:16 pm
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        Kikilani,

        Hey, simultaneous discussion on politics and food don’t mix! lol j/k

        I’m totally in the dark on tea parties, however I’d hope the tea pot, cups and tea itself were REAL! I can’t fathom it any other way! lol

        I take it you’re referring to a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony 茶の湯 revolving around green tea, where pretty finger foods (the colored ‘n buttered bread cutouts) are served with it. How Vienna Sausage on cute toothpicks with shoyu dipping sauce made it into that equation is beyond me.

        Reply
        • September 7, 2016 at 1:00 am
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          I meant not the kiddie type miniature tea sets, but REAL ADULT tea pots and cups. Am describing a children’s tea party circa Hawaii 1950’s. When we were kids any caffeine drinks, coffee, tea were forbidden except for our tea parties.

          Reply
  • September 6, 2016 at 3:25 pm
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    Van Camp’s was indeed, the Vienna sausages of choice! Armour, Hormel & Libby’s ran close behind. Hard to beat when it was something like $.20/can! went well with ketchup, shoyu-vinegar, & rice or, beer!

    Reply
    • September 6, 2016 at 4:35 pm
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      Dennis,

      Today I stopped by Safeway (Kapahulu), Foodland (Kaimuki @ Market City), Longs (Waialae Ave) and Times Supermarket (Waialae Ave.) and ALL of them only carried Libby’s Vienna Sausage. Not one other brand was on the shelf. Regular retail price was on average about 80 cents per can. IIRC, the cheapest is the Libby’s Vienna Sausage bulk case from Costco, which breaks down to less than 40 cents each.

      Only Longs Drugs carried Van Camp’s Beenie Weenies (lol), retailing for $1.79 each.

      I’ll have to come up with a Hawaii special edition label design for Hormel Vienna Sausage…

       

      Reply
  • September 9, 2016 at 3:26 am
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    It’s funny how things change.  When I was a kid, we ate vienna sausage with pork and beans, in omelets, with eggs, on bread as a sandwich, etc.  Now, just looking at them make me gag.  Spam is still my canned meat of choice.  But, I cannot bring myself to eat vienna sausage.  I think it’s the texture.  It’s too soft and mushy or something.

    It brings back good memories of good times, but I’ll choose other meats (or kind of meats) nowadays.  There are so many foods that I rarely eat now, but thinking about them bring fond memories like Almond Roca, fried Spam sandwiches, those silly dried fruit and nut trays with the little plastic forks that we would get at Christmas time, boiled peanuts at the baseball game, etc.

    Reply
    • September 9, 2016 at 9:42 am
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      Shevon,

      That mushy texture is exactly why I never cared for Vienna Sausage; in part because there’s no casing, hence no “snap” when you bite into it.

      Agreed though, Vienna Sausge still brings back good memories of “hanabaddah dayz”, and would be amiss if it weren’t still available, just like classic candies such Horlick’s and AstroPops (the pointed version when it could impale you lol).

      Reply
      • September 15, 2016 at 5:07 am
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        Pomai,

        Every time we see Astro Pops, I tell my kids that we used to lick them to get them as sharp as possible and then stab each other.  They look at me like I’m crazy.  They are back to their normal pointed side out like back in the day, but remember for a while they changed them and made them with the smaller end at the stick side so you couldn’t stab people?

        We have them here in IL.  I think I might get some the next time and challenge my kids to a duel.  Horlicks…I miss those with a passion. I even tried ordering the ones from Asia that are supposed to be ” just like” them.  Not.  They were terrible.  Why must they take away all our childhood goodies?

         

         

         

        Reply
        • September 15, 2016 at 10:02 am
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          Shevon,

          There’s an entire Tasty Island post dedicated to our “Hanabaddah Dayz” grindz titled Keiki Kaukau Memories. <—- in that link we talk about Exchange Orange Aid, One Ton Chips, Yick Lung, Nibb-Its, Haw Flakes, Da’ Manapua Man… all ‘dat ‘kine stuffs. ;-)

           

           

          Reply
          • September 20, 2016 at 5:19 am
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            Yup, I think I commented on that one.  That’s probably where I said that the Pop Chips BBQ flavor tastes like Nibb-its.

             

          • September 20, 2016 at 8:56 am
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            Shevon,

            You’re right, you did comment there. And my reply to you was:

            Regarding Nibb-Its, If I see the BBQ Pop Chips, I’ll definitely give them a try. As noted to Kelli previously in this thread, Tim’s Cascade Chips’ “Hawaiian Luau Barbecue Rings” are the real Nibb-Its deal:

            http://tastyislandhawaii.com/2009/10/28/hawaiian-luau-barbecue-rings-kettle-style-potato-chips/

            Seriously, them Hawaiian Luau Barbecue Rings, aside of the shape, are almost EXACTLY like how I remember the original Yick Lung Nibb-Its. The new Nibb-Its are nothing like the original.

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