Old Wisconsin began as Thielmann’s, a small sausage shop owned and operated by Frank Thielmann and William Stolzman back in 1942. Even today, they still use many of their high-quality sausage recipes. Due to increased demand, they opened their first plant in 1953, and changed their name to Thielmann’s Old Wisconsin Sausage Company shortly afterwards. In 1976, the acquisition of Sheboygan-based Rammer Sausage Company more than doubled their sausage production.
In 1981, Carl Buddig and Co., a family-owned meat processing company, purchased Thielmann’s Old Wisconsin Sausage Company, and changed their name to Old Wisconsin Sausage Company. In 1996, they doubled their production again with a new state-of-the-art plant, where they continue to make award winning, premium sausage.
Old Wisconsin smokes all of their meats slowly over real hardwood fires in their traditional pit style smokehouse to ensure natural flavor. Old Wisconsin used to sell jerky, but appears to have discontinued their jerky line. Old Wisconsin is distributed under the name of Old Wisconsin Food Products Co. Inc., and they are located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin along the western shore of Lake Michigan.
The first review on Old Wisconsin will focus on a 4 ounce/113 gram bag of their Turkey Sausage Bites. This flavor is described as having the same smokey, spicy flavor that you love from Old Wisconsin, but with less fat, fewer calories, and more protein. The Turkey Sausage Bites bag was purchased at a Walmart store located in Niagara Falls, New York.
On the whole, turkey is a leaner and healthier choice of meat compared to using beef. Turkeys raised in the US are not allowed to receive growth hormones. There is no guarantee that the turkey have free range access to roam about. As a result, the highest ingredient rating possible is Very Good (9/10).
The only healthy ingredient added is garlic powder. The highly controversial thickener and gelling agent carrageenan is used. Carrageenan is an extract from a red seaweed commonly known as Irish Moss, where carrageenan has been used in traditional cooking for hundreds of years. Many studies have linked carrageenan to various cancers, where it comes down to the quality of the carrageenan.
Commendably, the sugar level is very low at 1 gram of sugar per 30 grams of jerky. The salt level is acceptable at 310mg of salt per 30 grams of jerky.
This jerky does not qualify to have no sodium nitrite, as sodium nitrite along with sodium erythorbate are used as preservatives to lose a rating. Admirably, this jerky qualifies to have no MSG added.
OLD WISCONSIN – TURKEY SAUSAGE BITES
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag I smell vinegar. The ‘bites’ are just as advertised. Small slices of a sausage(s), each evenly sliced. The sausages (‘bites’) are soft and chewy, as well as dry, and they leave no oily residue on your fingers.
When I bite into the morsels, I detect salt, pepper, next to no sweet (👍), definitely garlic and vinegar, and meat.
Now, I was fooled here. I knew we were tasting turkey, but if I didn’t know better, I’d have guessed I was eating beef.
These ‘sausage bites’ are quite bloody tasty, turkey aside (I’m not typically the biggest fan of turkey), but I am truly enjoying these morsels, and, for that reason alone, I can’t justify anything other than a 10/10. I am duly surprised, but also duly impressed. Two thumbs way up!!!👍👍” Gentlemen?
Here is what Stéphane had to say: “I took a bite of the Old Wisconsin sausage and my entire face twisted to one side. I will keep my review ‘G’ rated and spare the details of what I thought I was biting into. The collagen casing offered some resistance without the ‘snap’ characterized by a natural casing. The substance inside was soft and lacked texture, this contrast between the two was quite unpleasant and repulsive to me. I tried my hardest to remain unbiased and I felt this stick tasted very generic and uninspiring.”
“Thanks to a truck load of flavor enhancers etc. this sausage may have tasted slightly better than the usual run of the mill can of cat food. I tried another bite a day later and the results remained the same.
Thank God, this experience reminded me why I do not care for mock chicken, bologna or wieners.”
I can’t rate this product more than 5/10 taste rating.”
Here is what Mark had to say about this Turkey Sausage Bites from Old Wisconsin: “Thanks Stéphane and Paul for the honest taste reviews. It is true, Stéphane’s face told me everything that I needed to know about this turkey sausage bites. I am more in the middle, debating if the flavor tastes alright (6/10), or decent (7/10) taste rating. These sausage bites are quite salty tasting, a favorite of Paul’s.”
“These sausage bites were shared between twelve different people. There was mixed reaction. Several people pointed out about the unnatural texture. The odd person loved this flavor also. Most people were in agreement that there was no WOW factor present, apart from the saltiness.”
This orange resealable plastic bag has everything imprinted directly on the bag itself, both on the front and back. There are no labels affixed to this bag.
Some slogans printed on this bag are “Real. Genuine. Taste.”, “Grab Some And Get Snackin’”, and “Protein Punch”. Some facts printed on this bag are “Gluten Free”, “Slow, Hardwood-Smoked Sausages”, “Ready To Eat”, “Full-Size Flavor”, “Bite-Size Convenience”, “Packed in the U.S.A.”, and “Handcrafted”.
All bag categories are covered with this bag. There is ‘Find us on Facebook’ displayed, but no Facebook handle is provided. Admirably, a toll free phone is provided for customer inquiries. There is small blurb printed on the back of this bag about Old Wisconsin and their products.