Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care about that may not have serious implications for atheism or social justice. Any day is a good day to write about whatever the heck we’re interested in (hey, we put “culture” in our tagline for a reason), but we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun. Enjoy!
A while back, I tweeted:
Turns out I will try a product labeled “Man Cave” if it offers me blue cheese in a bratwurst. #compromisedprinciples
— Stephanie Zvan (@szvan) May 4, 2016
Blue cheese is a potent force in the world, people. Don’t underestimate it.
After some discussion on social media, I determined to make up for my moment of weakness by posting a review of the bratwurst here. After all, no one else should be tempted past their endurance the way I was without knowing that giving in comes with a reward. So here we are.
Grand fluff aside, our grocer was having a special on Man Cave meats. I rolled my eyes at the portmanbro of their name, but I was curious what they had on offer. I saw this.
There really isn’t much interesting to say about the preparation of bratwurst. The most excitement came from having to make sure these were cooked through because they were raw. I will say, my mind wandered.
Instead, let me tell you what I found when I looked up Man Cave because I’d decided I’d write about them. (Blogger ethics are a bear.) I found a decent article about them from last year with lots of tidbits. Here’s what they say about the gender thing, by the way:
Despite its name, Beste says Man Cave’s products aren’t geared only to men. Women are also large purchasers of the product. Man Cave’s demographic has less to do with gender, age and income than it does with mindset. “Our target audience is people looking for meat products that are new and different; people looking for food experiences,” Beste says.
So the fact that I’ve tried Oreos with spray cheese as road food (think Pearson’s Nut Roll with less peanut and more cocoa) puts me close to their demographic. The fact that this guy can feed me whatever he wants without question puts me even closer.
The company also got their start as a multilevel marketing scheme selling grilling tools and accessories but moved away from that model when they discovered that people liked their meats. That says a lot about MLMs, but I can respect that they changed their business model. Overall, I was disposed to appreciate Man Cave after reading about them, even if I wanted to point at their name on the packaging and say, “Duuuuudes.”
They were pretty good bratwurst. They were still bratwurst.
Now, it’s been a week and a half, and I still have a small divot in the roof of my mouth where I burned myself on the first bite, so maybe I’m not being as generous as I could be. They tasted like a decent buffalo sauce, though they chose to go light on that. Several bites had identifiable blue cheese in them. The cheese wasn’t as mild as I’d been afraid it might be. The meat was fine, though these are flavors that are meant to be primary and mostly overwhelmed the pork. They didn’t need condiments either for moisture or flavor.
It’s just that they were still bratwurst. I like bratwurst generally, and I liked this bratwurst. I still don’t know that I care for it enough to seek it out over other bratwurst, though. I certainly don’t know that I liked it enough to pay “craft” pricing: more than 50% more than I would pay for other good bratwurst.
That said, if you eat a lot of bratwurst and your food is starting to bore you, bratwurst is still a cheap way to inject some “adventure” into your life. As for me, I got way more fun out of talking about these on social media that is remotely warranted by sausages, so either way, I came out ahead.