We just got word about two different sausage-related events being whipped out in the first two weekends of June, and thought it would be interesting to line them up side by side and compare them. The first one’s more of a popular/commercial event, the second more of an extreme enthusiast’s one. At first glance Sausagefest Chicago looks like an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Baconfest, put on by one of those companies who put on soundalike and taste-alike street fests throughout the summer. And, well, it pretty much is one of those, but let’s give them credit for breaking out of that box and enlisting the participation of a number of top sausage producers in the Chicago area, from old school ones like Paulina Market, Bobak’s, Polka Sausages and Nottoli & Son to new ones like Gilbert’s Craft Sausages, a nice assortment of ethnic sausagemaking from around the city that makes this event well worth a stop by. The event is June 2 and June 3, in the shadow of Wrigley Field at Sheffield & Addison; street fest bands will be playing all afternoon and evening both days, and beneficiaries will be the Lake View Citizens’ Council and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Go here for more details.
The next weekend offers a much more DIY, sausage enthusiasts’ experience. It’s called The Chicago Sausage Experiment and it’s the 8th stop on a national tour of amateur cookoffs sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. Entrants in the competition can make any sausage dish they want, get a $50 gift certificate to Mariano’s Fresh Market to help pay for ingredients, and have the chance to win cookware from sponsors like Le Creuset and Wusthof, plus the grand prize of going to Brooklyn to compete in the national championship. Or, if you don’t want to cook, you can just pay $10 and sample the sausage dishes, enjoy a Brooklyn Brewery beer on the house, and see which one the panel of judges, or possibly just judge, Joe Doren of Frank N Dawgs, judges to be the winner. The Chicago Sausage Experiment is Sunday, June 10 at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake Street; find out more here.