Any Maritimer worth their salt will tell you that firing up the grill in the middle of a raging winter blizzard is no big deal. However, no one can deny that as the sun shines and the temperature climbs, the smoky, salty juice of a homemade sausage served on a fresh bun tastes all that much sweeter.
Halifax is home to a number of skilled sausage makers, and the sheer variety of available flavours is enough to keep you cooking all year long. Whether it’s the mild, herbaceous notes of oregano and parsley; the pungent hit of garlic, paprika and mustard seeds; or the fiery bite of chilis and jalapenos you’re after, we have no shortage of wicked hand-crafted links to line your backyard grill.
From the Seaport market in Halifax and Alderney market in Dartmouth, to spots throughout downtown, north end Halifax and even the outward bounds of Tantallon, here are seven of our favourite sausages you can find easily around town.
1. Sweet William’s - MAPLE BACON LUMBERJACK
The only smoked sausage in the bunch, Sweet William’s Maple Bacon Lumberjack is sweet, smoky, salty sausagey bliss. Have it for breakfast with a couple of fried eggs, on an after-dinner cheese board or in place of bacon in spaghettini carbonara.
2. Getaway Farms - DANISH PØLSER
Beet juice gives Getaway’s Danish Pølser a vibrant reddish-pink hue and an undertone of earth, as the flavour of whole mustard seeds shines through. Keep it simple — on a bun with sauerkraut is all the gilding this lily needs.
3. Vessel Meats - JALAPENO CHEDDAR
When cooked, Vessel’s Jalapeno Cheddar sausage is moist and luscious, and has just the right mix of heat and cheesy goodness. Owner Brianna Hagell suggests crumbling and cooking the raw sausage in a skillet and using it as a topping on nachos.
4. Meadowbrook Meat Market - CHORIZO
Packing a hefty, heated punch, Meadowbrook’s Chorizo is a brilliant shade of red-orange, and once cooked it comes in on the more crumbly side of the sausage spectrum. Try it in soup, on pizza or straight up off the grill on a bun.
5. Cavicchis' Meats - MILD ITALIAN
With a blend of garlic and herbs, plus a hint of warm heat, Mild Italian is Cavicchis’ most popular sausage flavour. The original recipe is a nod to owner Grant Cavicchi’s Italian meat cutter lineage.
6. Pete’s Fine Foods - PETE’S OWN GOURMET SAUSAGE
Pete’s is known as a powerhouse of premium meats, and Pete’s Own Gourmet Sausage is a testament to that prowess. Robust in flavour and size, Pete’s Own Gourmets are made in-house with local pork and a blend of parsley, garlic and nutmeg.
7. Ratinaud French Cuisine - MERGUEZ
Ratinaud owner Frédéric Tandy is a sausage wizard, and his 100 per cent pure lamb Merguez sausage is proof. The Merguez is small, which means it cooks quickly, and as for flavour, the roasted red peppers, fresh oregano, chilis, paprika and garlic form a balance of sweet and spicy.