True or False? Good
sausages may be delicious, but they are full of artery-clogging
fat. And genuine European-style liver sausage, wursts, terrines
and pates contain pork as a matter of course.
says Marcel Hess, proprietor of the newly-opened Hess the Sausage
King in Ra'anana, whose glatt kosher (and relatively low fat)
products are not only as good as the non-kosher variety, but better.
He's got the prizes
on his walls to prove it too - some 30 of them, including awards
from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France for his chicken
liver pate marinated in cognac, pastrami, liver sausage, and for
many other varieties of delicious dried, pickled and stuffed meats.
Marcel Hess, who recently
made aliya with his family from Basel, may have been the only
kosher member of the Swiss National Sausage Association but it
didn't affect the equality of his sausages. He won the award in
blind tastings at which all the other competitors submitted pork
"None of the judges
knew that my sausages were kosher until the end. It came as a
surprise to them to learn that kosher products could be of fine
quality." He says. So highly regarded were those products that
half the customers at his shop in Basel were non-Jews who were
willing to pay double the regular price for Hess's glatt kosher
products simply because they appreciated their quality.
Marcel learned the
business from his father, and also studied hotel management
in Lusanne and Cornell University and winery at a school near
…As for the cholesterol
count, Hess claims that the fat content of most of the meats
is only about 10%, as opposed to 40-50% for commercial sausages
- "and we're planning to produce a turkey salami with less than
…The reason Hess
decided to offer spirits as well as meat is because, he says,
"my idea is not just to sell meat, but to give people an enjoyable
And Israel, he believes,
is ready for that experience.
"I believe that
people want fine quality, in meat as well as brandy and whiskey.
We use only the best cuts of fresh chicken, veal and beef, unlike
commercial frozen meat like regular frozen chickens which contain
300 gr of water in every kilo.
"Already we have
found that people come here from all over Israel. It was the
same in Switzerland. We were known to produce the best cold
cuts and liver sausage, and people came to our shop from everywhere.
We even had people passing though Switzerland from other countries,
who made a special stop in Basel to buy our meat."