Monday, July 20, 2009

One bite: Lithuanian potato sausage

Posted By on 07.20.09 at 12:37 PM

8dab/1248032780-vederai.jpg

I wonder if there was once a day when an inventive Lithuanian mom convinced her picky toddler to eat his kugelis by disguising it as sausage. Whoever first conceived the idea of stuffing the Lithuanian potato-bacon pudding "breakfast of champions" into pig intestine probably had more practical reasons, maybe related to portability or preservation. But the appeal of a tubular kugelis that first offers the distinctive snap of a natural casing sausage is undeniable.

Known as vederai, the above intestinal-looking specimen was captured at the marvelous Racine Bakery in Archer Heights, where it's labeled in the deli case as "Lithuanian potato sausage." There's even a string roped around the end of the two links as if they were hung in the smokehouse with the other cured meats. But no, vederai are baked.

Racine Bakery, incidentally, is a class establishment with a dizzying array of Polish and Lithuanian bakery and deli items, and an old-world approach to customer service, the sort of the place where the white-frocked counter girls will ask you if you want your kolacky with a fresh dusting of powdered sugar before wrapping them up to go.

Racine Bakery, 6216 W. Archer, 773-581-8500

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