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If you’ve been following my series on how to throw a Sausagefest you’ll already know I throw this party every year. The premise is simple. Everyone brings some sausages to share. They can be any sausage just so long as it’s not the generic sweet Italian. Our turnout?
- Over 60 lbs of Sausages from over a dozen different nationalities
- A Keg of Beer
- A Bonfire.
Now if that’s not a party I don’t know what is. Any frat boy will tell you that a Keg and Bonfire automatically spells great party. This is a feast of excess. There was absolutely no way we were going to even remotely put a dent in all the sausages. Every year you’ll always get people who don’t get it. Why have an entire table of sausages? Can they bring a salad? or perhaps a delicate dessert? Absolutely NOT!! It’s a Sausagefest after all.
When you see the looks of people’s eyes when they see the spread, and the uncontrollable smile, you’ll understand. The show is a critical component of feasting. I came from the world of fine dining, where the maxim of “you eat with your eyes first” is an intransgressible creed. To this end we used squirt bottles, ring molds, tweezers and all manners of nonsense to make the plate look pretty. Ironically we will also say that we’re seeking for the food to speak for itself.
When you live in this environment, it’s quite easy to delude yourself to thinking about how much value you really are adding to the food. Take any 3 Michelin star and place it on a paper plate. Only a tiny tiny fraction of the dishes currently billed at $300 a person would look appetizing. Even fewer would come with the illusion of genius.
Sausagefest like all BBQ is the extension of a philosophy. The philosophy of whole hog BBQ. When people see a whole hog, it matters little if you’ve grew up in the South or in the big city of New York, it’s simply a sight to behold. People can’t help but stop and stare. This reaction is visceral and primal. This is truly allowing food to speak for itself. You can easily place whole hog on a paper plate and it will look and taste like what it is – food of the gods.
This philosophy of feasting is what sausagefest seeks to capture. It is not beholden to the tyranny of balance nor futile search for the perfect dinner. A bit of silly, a blue jeans crowd, and an evening where food truly reigns and pretension is cast aside.