Believe me, the sheer irony of the fact that Vienna Sausages are listed here on Epinions under "Restaurants and Gourmet" is not lost on me. After all, gourmet's worldwide have raved about Vienna Sausages for decades, often eschewing expensive caviar or foie gras for a can or two of the little wieners. Actually, Vienna Sausages do serve a purpose. They're cheap (you can get them for as little as fifty-cents a can at some dollar stores, and groceries often run cheaper specials than that.) And their small cans are lightweight enough that one can easily pack them along on camping trips or hikes or fishing or practically any outdoor activity, and the can is made from recyclable aluminum, so it's an environmentally-friendly product (provided someone takes the time to recycle said can.) If you're got a hankering to eat some Vienna Sausages, I'd recommend going with the Armour Hot & Spicy version of the little chicken/pork/beef wieners.
Recommend this product?
Vienna Sausages are small, smaller than half a standard sized hot dog, and come packed six to a can. They're a decent source of protein-5g per serving (three sausages per serving) with only 2g carbs, meaning they aren't bad for someone following a low-carb diet. On the other hand, they've got a fairly high fat content (13g, 5g of which is saturated fat) as well as 660mg of sodium per serving. Still, they make a nice, cheap snack for said outdoor activities, as well as for hungry kids. And the hot sauce in the Hot & Spicy version gives the sausages a little flavor.
There are a few things to be aware of before you pop open that can, however. Hot & Spicy is a relative term at best, and to my discerning palate (and I'm eating Vienna Sausages, so how could my palate be anything but discerning) these just aren't quite hot enough. If these were hot wings your local wing joint would serve them under the heading of "mild." The main ingredient is Louisiana Hot Sauce (aged cayenne red peppers, vinegar, and salt) and it could be much hotter and spicier than it is. As I said, there is some flavor, but I want more: more hot, more spice, more flavor, dammit.
The other problem is that the sauce doesn't stick very well to the sausages, meaning that most of the sauce remains at the bottom of the can. Except that just enough sauce sticks to the sausage to ensure that your fingers get all messy if you're using the finger method of extracting the wieners from the can. This can be easily remedied if you have something handy to spear the top of the sausage with (I've found that pretzel sticks work quite well and add a bit of a crunch to the sausage, but that also defeats the entire "low-carb" thing you might have going on.) If not, your fingers are on their own. And since the sauce doesn't stick to the sausage very well, you kind of have to swirl the sausage around the bottom of the can, which causes it's own messy problems in the form of drips. And believe me, nothing quite screams "class" like holding a Vienna Sausage can under your mouth as you eat one so that the excess hot sauce falls back into the can and not onto your shirt. (For added class, you should eat in this manner sans shirt, the chicks will dig it more than you'll ever know.)
Essentially, once you've removed your shirt, swirled your sausages, and eaten them over the can, you're stuck with about 1/4 can of wasted hot sauce, which you can either dump into the sink, pour over some tuna, or drink straight from the can since it really isn't all that hot (I just did this in the interest of proving to you just how mild the hot sauce is, because I'll always go the extra mile for you, and if that means drinking hot sauce out of a Vienna Sausage can, I'm willing to do it!)
If it seems as though I'm bashing these things, I'm not. I just want to make sure you know what you're in for. I actually do like these, and I prefer them over plain old regular Vienna Sausages. I just wish that they were a little hotter, is all (perhaps I need to try the Jalapeno version.) As it stands now, when I find myself in the massive Vienna Sausage section of my local grocer, I'm more apt to load up on the Hot & Spicy than the regular or the Barbeque-flavored ones. I rate them at a three because of the mildness of the hot sauce, but I recommend them to anyone wanting a more flavorful Vienna Sausage experience, and you know who you are.
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