Well I don't know how it is where you live but here in central CT sausage is all over the place. Even the small markets can produce sausage that I feel is not up to par. I need fennel, salt, black pepper and hold your breath, fat. I find a lot of markets use too lean a mix resulting in dry cardboard sausage. All the spice in the world will not make up for the proper amount of fat. Sorry, but it's part of the true product. Yes it's bad for me but when the desire hits that's what I want, and will have. Moderation my friends, and enjoy.