International Sausage House

I wonder, do the guys at International Sausage know that bacon is the flavour of the decade? Would they care if they did?

They’ve been making bacon and smoked sausage for years. The staff wear lab coats not aprons, a clear sign to me that it’s European. I like this tradition; it suggests commitment to the craft.

However, I’m not sure about the hand washing thing the owner makes the staff declare before every customer. “I’ll just was my hands”, they say. Some customers find it reassuring to hear, but how does it feel to have to actually voice the action 30+ times a day? After a time you might feel you should be showering before serving a new customer. A boss like that would probably like robot clerks. The things you have to do for minimum wage. Deli work, there’s a story.

Anyway, the bacon. It’s good.

The smoker at the back of the building goes regularly – you can see it in action from the street. If you’re looking for pure, no preservative cured meats, then this is not the place. They use nitrates and sulphates in their Canadian style bacon (pictured here). Their European style bacon, which is much chewier, is cold smoked and has no additives, though does use nitrate for a preservative. Ingredients for any of their smoked products are available; just ask.

International Sausage is actually Polish, but the products are not limited to that country (stay away from the Italian capicolli, especially as Columbus Meats, where they make in house, is a skip away). I can’t work out all of International Sausage’s different sausages except some are smokier, drier, heavier, fruitier, or chewier than others. You try.

To go with it all, there’s their handmade sauerkraut. You won’t see so ask. Comes with nice bits of carrot. Crisper than the stuff in the jars.

International Sausage hands out free pure pork fat. They call it schmaltz. I cut it into other fat to make pastry for meat pies. Some people fry with it. Even better, if you spend over $20, you get a free Polish sausage with or without garlic. Your choice.

Update October 2015: Sadly, this store is no more. The land is has been sold for condos. The owners will not be relocating.