Tasso taste-off

I bought all five kinds of tasso (not counting non-pork variations) that cajungrocer.com had.

A: Cochon Butcher tasso, $9.65 8 oz. (scale 8.8), $1.21 / oz.

Pork, water, cane juice crystals, salt. Contains less than 2% of the following: Spices (chili powder, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, minced garlic, celery powder, ground white pepper, allspice, juniper berries, crushed red pepper, anise, sage

Unlike the others, this had a heavy, wet rub, almost like mole.


B: Comeaux’s Cajun Hickory Smoked Pork Tasso, $10.69 16 oz. (scale 16.4), $0.67 / oz.

Pork cured in a solution of water, salt, paprika, flavorings, sodium nitrate

Unlike the others, this was chopped.


C: Foreman’s Smoked Pork Tasso, $4.05 8 oz. (scale 9.3), $0.51 / oz.

Pork meat cured iwth water, sugar, salt, dextrose, sodium phosphates, spices, paprika, onion & garlic powder, sodium nitrite

label was missing


D: Poche’s Smoked Pork Tasso, $9.70 16 oz. (scale 15.4), $0.61 / oz.

Pork meat cured iwth water, sugar, salt, dextrose, sodium phosphates, spices, paprika, onion & garlic powder, sodium nitrite


E: Savoie’s Hickory Smoked Pork Tasso, $5.98 8 oz. (scale 9.5), $0.73 / oz.

Pork cured with a solution of: (water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphatase, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite), spices, dextrose, paprika

I forgot to take a photo of this out of the package.


Tasting notes to come…

I made a big batch of vegetarian red beans, chopped the tasso, simmered half a pound of each in some bean broth, then mixed them with 12 ounces of beans. So we had five bowls of red beans varying only by the kind of tasso.

Bottom line, I didn’t like any of them well enough to bother ordering a big batch for the freezer. I was hoping for something very smoky, like the stuff a friend used to bring back from Louisiana once in a while, or like what Pauline’s Pizza in SF used to get from Owens Valley.

Poche’s was the general favorite. Everybody liked the Cochon Butcher one, but the seasoning was untraditional, didn’t taste anything like the others.

Maybe I’ll try making my own. We have a smoker.

Calling @catholiver. There’s a pork-orama going on over here.

That seemed great until I got to the 2nd paragraph :slight_frown:.

The red beans were really good, if I do say so myself, but I could make them just as well with cheaper locally available pork products, such as ham hocks from the farmers market.

I used John Besh’s recipe, minus the ham hock and bay leaves:

A little of this hot sauce is good with it:

I made it with Philo Apple Farm cider vinegar.

Both Bruce Aidells in “Compete Sausage Book” and Michael Ruhlman in “Charcuterie” have good looking recipes. Aidells, in contrast to his usual ilk is for a massive amount of pork, two whole shoulders, while Ruhlman’s is for a five pound chunk. Aidells is cold smoked and Ruhlman is hot. I have a cold smoking rig for my Weber Smokey Mountain. It works fine, but it tends to give the food a creosote odor. I have a bag full of andouille in the freezer so I’ll try one of these tasso recipes and report back.

I love red beans. John Besh cooks how I like to eat. Should be great. Thanks!

As usual… Interesting!

Okay my friend …anecdote. When Lizzie was four I made Bruce Aidells’ rice and beans recipe (its a bit spicy). She came home from preschool and smelled it, “Daddy, I have to taste this food!” It burned her mouth. Next time I made it without the cayenne. Boring. We settled on half spice. It remains one of her favorite foods to this day.
As a personal note; the strawberries are thriving. Can we meet someplace and I can give you cuttings? If not they are only getting more lively and next spring will only be better. Your call.

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Great. I’ll probably be in the Valley in the next few days and was going to message you. LOL. Will message you anyway. So we don’t get into “off-topic” trouble.