Okay, y'all, it's not often I have good things to say about the Crimson Tide. SEC football is a serious thing in my family and I'll definitely get some side-eye at Thanksgiving if it gets out that I'm writing nice things about Alabama football. So let me make this clear: I'm saying nice things about the food at Alabama football games because the tailgating food in Tuscaloosa is a football tradition I can definitely cheer for, especially when it comes to Conecuh sausage.
Sausage in some form is a time-honored tailgate food. Just walk across any football stadium parking lot across the United States on any autumn Saturday and you're sure to find grills with all kinds of sausage in a hundred different dishes. So what makes Conecuh sausage so special? It's a flavor you can only find in one county in Alabama.
The Conecuh Sausage Company, located in Evergreen, Alabama, on I-65 between Mobile and Montgomery (that's in Conecuh County), was founded in 1947. For over 70 years, the company owned and run by the Sessions family has been making some of the best sausages in the South. Their hickory-smoked sausage uses a patented blend of seasonings that gives it a unique, smokey taste.
The sausage is so popular that in 2019 it was named the "Official Smoked Sausage" of Alabama Crimson Tide Athletics. The Crimson Tide pre-game show is now The Conecuh Sausage Crimson Tide Tailgate Party and you can order Conecuh sausage at concession stands at the stadium.
They offer six different kinds of pork sausage: Hickory Smoked, Spicy & Hot, All Natural Hickory Smoked (with no MSG or nitrates), Original Smoked Sausage, Cajun Smoked Sausage and Cracked Black Pepper. They also sell bacon, turkey and ham, all smoked over a hickory fire, plus hot dogs perfect for grilling.
Every year, the third Saturday of October marks the Conecuh Sausage Festival, held in Evergreen. (Sadly, the 2020 festival has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but you can order sausage from the company and have it shipped to you for a socially distanced festival of your own, or if you're driving through Evergreen, they have a gift shop.)
Need some game day recipes for your Conecuh sausage? We've got you covered. It's a must-have in jambalaya and this Southern fried cabbage, but you can also grill it and put it in a bun with a little bit of cheese and some onions or use it as part of a cheese and meat platter.