I wasn't going to post this until tomorrow, but looks like the Emergency Essentials Black Friday sale will offer this product at $22.99 per #10 can, which is 59% of the usual price. If I read their e-mail correctly, shipping in the continental US will also be free.
Not sure why I decided to take advantage of the Emergency Essentials September Group Special on freeze-dried sausage crumbles, but the price being almost half the usual was involved in the decision.
We opened a can and gave the product a major workout, and whole-heartedly recommend it. First, it provides a lot of fat and protein -- VERY calorie and nutrition dense. It also has nice flavor and texture, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
First, each #10 can holds LOTS of sausage, much more than I expected. If I measured correctly, there are about 12 cups of product in the can. Each cup, once rehydrated, will enhance a meal of soup or stew for 4 people by adding around 5 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat PER PERSON. When I compared the finished product weight to Jimmy Dean from the store, the cost was comparable, even at full price for the canned sausage.
My husband and I tried the crumbles dry from the can. They are actually more like nuggets that hold together well. They taste pretty good and the texture is palatable, though they are much better when hydrated. When dry from the can there is a slightly greasy mouthfeel (not present when rehydrated), but I'd overlook it in an emergency and be glad to have them. The dry nuggets would be OK in a hearty trail mix with dried fruit and nuts or M&M's. I tried a few dry nuggets with raisins and it's actually pretty good -- instant pemmican!
Next, I followed the directions and reconstituted 3/4 cup to put in a recipe of jambalaya. They rehydrate well with a nice flavor and texture -- they held together perfectly in my jambalaya and were not tough or too chewy. The spice component is very good -- not so spicy that they are HOT, but enough to perk them up and bring an extra flavor to the jambalaya. You knew you when you had a piece of sausage in your mouth, but in a good way. I did not tell my husband what the sausage was until after he had eaten the meal. He liked it!
We tried them (rehydrated) on pizza. They would pass for Italian sausage at any pizza joint in town!
When rehydrated, they have enough shape and texture to be used in spaghetti sauce (we did!) and soups (yep, tried this too). The rehydration water had a mild sausage flavor that could be add to the broth in a soup recipe. Or you could be lazy like me and just throw some dry nugget in the soup pot and let them fend for themselves! These crumbles would also be great with eggs or mixed with some tomato sauce for a sloppy joe filling (haven't tried these yet).
One can has a lot of sausage in it, so I froze some of the dry nuggets. I've used some of them a couple times since and they are faring well quality-wise, thus far.
Overall, this product exceeded my expectations both in taste and versatility. I am glad to have it in my emergency food storage. On a 1 to 10 scale, these are at least a 7, possibly an 8 or more. In an emergency, I bet they'd taste like a 10 compared to nutrition bars and ramen!