They have been on an acquisition and strategic partnership tear as of late,which really appears to have been jump started in 2003 with the purchase of New Orleans based Zatarains. The union also gave McCormick an entry into the prepared meals arena.
In addition to their core brands, McCormick also owns Old Bay, Adolphs, Lawrey’s and others.
They are now (apparently) looking at expansion through licensing the use of their spice formulations and associated names. I noticed this at the market with a new product of “Montreal Seasoning” smoked sausages, which carry the McCormick label, but the reverse of the package informs us the links are distributed by Mexican food monster Sigma Alimentos’s US division, Bar-S, based in Phoenix. Bar-S markets over 250 meat products under eight brands, manufactured at five of their own production plants, as well as contract manufacturers.
This particular product was made at USDA Est 32009, Salm Partners in Denmark, Wi (near GreenBay). We previously took a look at them during our review of Jack Link’s (new) sausage line.There is a video of their plant in that review. (Pictures of plant below).
I didn’t look at the fine print on the packaging; had I been thorough, I might not have picked them up, as it clearly states these sausages are a “pork and turkey”product. The ingredient list goes on to say they use “mechanically separated turkey,” usually a no-no for me, and corn syrup and corn starch, other ingredients I’m not crazy about.
The links were around $3.00 (WalMart sale price) for six, total of 14 ounces.
Out of the package, there is no distinctive flavor-related odor, other than a slight hint of smoke. The presence of the spices is evident in the picture below. I chose the “Montreal Steak” flavor, because I am an enthusiastic user of that blend on burgers. and the McCormick website lists the blend having the following ingredients: Coarse Salt, Spices (Including Black Pepper And Red Pepper), Garlic, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavor, And Extractives Of Paprika. Not sure what the “natural flavor” component would be.
I pan fried the sausages at medium low in cast iron for about ten minutes, until they achieved a little char, which is my personal preference, as the char emulates the texture (sort of) of a natural casing on the link.
There is less of a distinctive flavor than I imagined their would be. On the plus side, there is a little bit of ‘heat,’ and also, the presence of the corn syrup is not overpowering as it was in the Jack Links product.
I’d buy them again, if they are on sale, but otherwise, I don’t see any competitive advantage over most “Polish” or smoked sausage brands.
McCormick Grill Mates Sausages Review