There's no denying this football season has been beyond great for the Carolina Panthers. While the coaching staff and players have done a great job of winning fans over with their on-field performance, Kayem foods is helping the Carolina Panthers win off the field. Kayem Foods and the Carolina Panthers recently partnered together and Kayem is now the official brand of franks and sausages of the Carolina Panthers and Bank of America Stadium.
If you think we football fans don't play about our teams, we really don't mess around when it comes to our Game Day eats either. One just cannot properly enjoy a football game without some good eats and in my family, plain ol' chips and salsa won't cut it. My family enjoys eating "Real Food" meaning something with meat in it and that will stick to the belly. So, I was delighted and a bit anxious when Kayem reached out to me to try out some of their products. I had never heard of their brand before, but felt reassured that they had good products because down here in the South we know good food when taste it. The Panthers know this and wouldn't possibly dare to serve their fans Kayem franks and sausages if they weren't up our Southern expectations.
The Carolina Panthers and Bank of America Stadium co-sign wasn't the only reason I decided to try out Kayem's. As y'all know we are a household with many food allergies. As mentioned above my family members are major meat eaters, but are also allergic to gluten. Over the years I've learned to steer clear of prepared foods, even meats, because they have gluten and a host of over preservatives that we try to steer clear of. When I learned that Kayem doesn't use fillers, MSG and their meats were gluten-free, I took it as a good sign.
What I Received
Kayem Foods has a variety of franks and artisan sausages to choose from. In addition to franks and sausages, they also make deli meats, beef patties, and buns. Although not listed on their website, on a visit to my local Harris Teeter I learned that they sell Kayem Italian Style Meatballs as well. Not sure if this product is getting discontinued, but stock up on them while you can!
For my taste-testing I selected the following products:
- Kayem Artisan Pineapple Uncured Bacon Sausage, 12 oz
- Kayem Artisan Andouille Sausage, 12 oz
- Kayem Fire Grill Angus Beef Patties, 15 oz
What I (We) Liked & Didn't LikeRight out of the gate everyone loved the Artisan Andouille Sausage, especially Moo. I was chopping up the sausage to add to one of her favorite soups that I make from scratch and she couldn't stop stealing pieces from the cutting board. At one point I had to threaten her with a timeout to stop her from eating it all. I snuck a few pieces too and can't say that blame her. That sausage was delicious.
It was spicy without being too spicy. It reminded me of my trips to New Orleans visiting with family. Great andouille sausage is staple down there. They use it in red beans and rice, gumbo, crawfish boils, etc. Honestly, I didn't eat a lot of andouille sausage before I stayed in New Orleans.
This is definitely the one sausage you'll want to get for your sausage dogs or sausage hoagies. It's also a great breakfast sausage if you fry it up with some fresh peppers, onion and serve over buttery grits.
If you not a big fan of pineapples then you will want to steer clear of their Artisan Pineapple Uncured Bacon Sausage. In addition to chunks of pineapple, this sausage also has brown sugar and maple syrup giving it a tangy sweet taste if eaten alone as a sausage dog. Moo was not a big fan of the "sweet sausage" as she called it, at least not eating it by itself. However, once paired with the Andouille and mixed into the soup, she came to love it
I honestly didn't mind the taste. But then again I'm a fan of putting maple syrup on my sausage. I choose to crisp my sausage before adding it the soup and I loved how the sugars from the pineapple, syrup and brown sugar helped to make a nice sweet crust on the sausage chunks I diced. I'll definitely purchase this again and see what other dishes I can use it in.
Before I talk about the beef patties, I want to let all of my Queen City folks know that these have not yet unrolled in our Harris Teeters. I'm also not sure if they ever will, but we are really, really, REALLY hoping that will soon! When I say Kayem Foods knows how to craft the perfect precooked beef patties, I mean they know beef and how to use the grill!! Y'all may remember that we only eat beef and red meats maybe once a month or every other month. However, I will confess that after trying these Fire Grilled Angus Beef Patties, we were ready to toss that habit out the window and start eating these everyday.
These beef patties were juicy, tender, and grilled and seasoned to perfection. Seriously, I've never had a store-bought beef patties that I haven't had to re-season myself because the seasoning wasn't up to par until I tried Kayem's. We loved that these come pre-grilled because our package arrived the weekend of our first snow of the New Year and the scrumptious aromas that floated out of the pan as I cooked these had us feeling like we were having an indoor cookout. Yes, we got transported right to summer.
If there was a scratch-and-smell button that I could have used, I would have tweeted y'all a sniff. And God was looking out because each bag comes with 5 patties, but somehow ours came with 6. From the first to the last bite we communicated in a series of "Mmms", "Noms" and sighs because these are just that good. Seriously, I argued with my seven year old over who was getting the last patty. We decided to split it. (Kayem Foods when you read this, please consider rolling out your patties to Charlotte, NC and Panthers please consider getting these as well to serve at the Bank of America Stadium!)
What I Made
Because our Winter weather had finally came in and we had gotten some snow earlier that weekend, I decided to make a Game Day and Moo's favorite soup- Pea Soup. However, I put a twist on it by adding the sausages. I served it over white rice and topped it with gluten-free herb croutons and added some cheese to mine. The recipe is really easy to make and doesn't take that long to prepare or cook.
I would suggest though that you soak your split peas overnight though as this helps to speed up cooking time. You save the recipe printable below.
Since the beef patties were perfectly seasoned, the kids had patties on gluten-free bun with tomato and for myself I added cole slaw made here in NC (gotta support local businesses/brands), onion and a few squirts of ketchup aka my version of a lite Carolina Burger.
Overall, we were more than satisfied with our first experience of enjoying Kayem Foods products. I do recommend that you visit their website to see if any of the stores near you sell any of their products and give them a try for yourself.
What is your favorite way to eat franks and/or sausages?