Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Small Town Story

Small towns along our route have many times turned into favorite stops. Some of them hold unique surprises and they most always have friendly people.  A few days ago during our stay in southern Alabama, we had another good experience in small-town America. Our timing was perfect for the Elberta German Sausage Festival. Elberta is a town of 552 that's approximately 15 miles east of where we were staying in Summerdale. It was established in 1903 by German farmers from the Midwest.  The town is known for their popular, locally- produced sausage, only available from the Elberta meat market. There's nothing like a really good German sausage, right?

Add the sausage to some music and beer and friendly people. Need I say more? 

Upon making our own taste test we wholeheartedly agreed with the high caliber of the sausage. We had, of course, the customary kraut and mustard additions.  The festival had a variety of  music to mix with your sausage and beer. 

These two ladies, on stage near the beer tent, offered a different slant from the accordian and saxophone players on the main bandstand. 

After that great food and drink, we needed a walk.  So we meandered through the rows of booths, looking for that item we just had to have. One item that's everywhere in this area of the country is boiled peanuts, especially cajun style.  I've missed out on this in my life, so it was time to try them.  Not bad. Tastes something like the Mexican pinto beans, like those in Hatch valley in New Mexico.  But the featured item at this festival seemed to be hot sauces. And samples were plentiful.  We tried our share and decided we had better take home some of Dunk's Green Thang, Cajun Thang and Crazy Thang. We'll be looking for friends to help us out with new hot sauce recipes in the coming months. 

I'm sure there was more of Elberta to see, shops and restaurants and the museum we heard was very good.  But that would have to be on another visit.  But, before leaving Elberta we did want to see the meat market. Had to have some of that fabulous sausage to go.   It's a fresh butcher shop in another one of those out-of-the-way places where you might not expect it.  But they do ship anywhere. And while we were there we picked up some sauer kraut, too.  Oh, yum.

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