What’s In Your Sausage?

by Kimberly Hickok

Call me crazy but I like to know what’s in my food. Before I go on to tell you about the wonderful experience I had last weekend at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park thanks to the folks at Jones Dairy Farm, let’s talk a little bit about the word ‘processed’.

Processed is NOT a bad word. We process food all the time. By that I mean that we ‘perform a series of steps, or a process, to modify or preserve food’. So when my husband butchers a deer, he’s PROCESSING  it. When he turns that meat into sausage, he’s PROCESSING it – and that’s a good thing!

Okay. Okay. I’m done preaching. I promise. Now on to the fun stuff.

This past weekend I was invited to a blogger event sponsored by Jones Dairy Farm. The purpose of the event was to learn more about their products, connect with other bloggers and have fun! The festivities began with cocktails and appetizers made with Jones Dairy Farm products at the historic Beekman Arms and Delamater Inn. The inn, established in 1766, is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the US.

A bedroom in the historic Beekman Arms hotel

Beautiful and comfy metal framed bed. Loved my room and the wide wood planked floors were absolutely gorgeous.

Decanter of sherry in historic Beekman Arms hotel room.

A touch of old warm charm – a complimentary decanter of sherry.

At the cocktail reception I began to get a better sense of Jones Dairy Farm’s history and commitment to producing high quality products from Rick Lowry, executive vice president. It was kind of neat being in an old, historic hotel and learning about a family-owned company that’s been producing sausage USING THE SAME RECIPE for 125 years. At the company’s helm today is Philip Jones, a sixth generation Jones family member.

It’s kind of funny that the company is called Jones Dairy Farm because they’re known for their sausage, ham and bacon. Jones did start as a dairy farm but their claim to fame quickly became the pork sausage that dairy farmer Milo Jones began selling when he could no longer work the farm. Lucky for us, right?

In the morning we headed to the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park for breakfast and to spend the day in the Jones Dairy Farm kitchen located on campus. It was so much fun being in their kitchen. We even got to practice our knife skills!

Here’s where I got to see with my own eyes what goes into making Jones Dairy Farm bacon, ham and sausage. I recently made bacon myself and I know it’s not a quick process.

Jones Dairy Farm Bacon

A big ole slab of pork belly – aka bacon – cherry wood smoked. You can tell the quality of the bacon.

I was especially impressed with their Canadian Bacon and ham. The bacon comes from pork loin that is completely trimmed of all fat. The ham is not made up of parts pressed together. Once the ham is segmented into the three main muscle groups, each piece is pressed and cured. The meat is fresh, never frozen.

Jones Dairy Farm Ham

The ham is broken down into three parts. Each piece is ‘processed’ as an individual ham – not parts mashed together to make a ham.

They also have an Animal Welfare Policy in place that their suppliers must adhere to. As Rick put it, “well treated animals produce a better quality product.” I couldn’t agree more.

A selection of Jones Dairy Farm products

No fillers, no allergens, no MSG, no preservatives and the gluten free products are certified gluten free.

I was really impressed with the quality of every Jones Dairy Farm product I ate – especially the bacon! I grew up eating their sausage roll and it’s the brand I use in my stuffing every year but I don’t ever recall eating their bacon before. It will now be a staple in our fridge (when I don’t feel like making bacon!).

So . . . what’s in your sausage?

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Carrie @ poet in the pantry February 11, 2014 - 2:21 am

It was an impressive event, wasn’t it? I really like their commitment to quality. It was so wonderful meeting and getting to spend some time with you this weekend! Best wishes!

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