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Crave sausage? Microwave can help

Forget the bacon, it's sausages that I and my other England-born relatives crave on a cool weekend morning or any morning for that matter.

We like them fried in an iron +skillet or wrapped in pastry, and baked with a crust. And, in a pinch, we'll take them as patties from the freezer and warmed in the microwave.

This pork pleasure conjures such sweet feelings that a teacher I know refers to her kindergarten students as her "little sausages."

Taster's Choice sampled six pork sausages purchased from local groceries. They were cooked in a microwave, according to package directions.

The winner sausage, with 57 of 80 possible points, was Jones ($3.49).

With sausages, it's all about texture and spice. Jones was a crowd pleaser because it was smooth tasting and juicy.

"These have a really great chew," a judge said. Another thought they had the meaty taste of a burger.

Panelists liked that the sausages were not too salty or greasy.

Close behind Jones with 48 points was Jimmy Dean ($3.69).

"A great blend of seasonings _ not over peppered or too spicy," a judge said.

Panelists objected to sausages that were too dark, too soggy or too small. Some just fell apart in the microwave.

The third choice, with 33 points, was Tennessee Pride ($3.49). They were chewy and nicely shaped, but a bit dry for some judges.

Also tasted were sausages from: Albertsons ($3.49); Healthy Choice ($1.79) and Armour ($1.79).

Panelists were: Personal chefs Julie Overton and Marc Easterman; Bob Devin Jones, actor, director and playwright; and Jim Yockey, aesthetician at the Tierra Verde Salon and Day Spa. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 or e-mail them to krietasptimes.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line.

RANKINGS

No. 1: Jones.

No. 2: Jimmy Dean.

No. 3: Tennessee Pride.

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