The best-selling bratwurst at Jones Boys Market in Ashland, Ill., is the apple brat. “We use an applesauce mixture of spices that gives it a unique flavor,” said Dan Jones, who sells the store’s frozen brats.

The best-selling bratwurst at Jones Boys Market in Ashland, Ill., is the apple brat.


“We use an applesauce mixture of spices that gives it a unique flavor,” said Dan Jones, who sells the store’s frozen brats.


“You can eat it for breakfast. It tastes good with cheese,” he added.


The apple brat is one of about 30 varieties of bratwurst made at the Ashland grocery and meat market. New this year is the root beer brat, Vidalia onion brat, horseradish brat, habanero brat and beef-and-blue cheese steakhouse brat.


They join the store’s most popular kinds, which include the sweet Italian brat, English bangers, ham-pineapple brat, currywurst, jalapeno-cheese brat, German brat and the Four Frenchmen brat, which is a chicken and pork sausage with four French spices and a peppery taste.


Other flavors are cherry chip, Hungarian, French beef (beef, smoked bacon, pimento), horseradish, Swedish potato, andouille, smoked mozzarella garlic and more.


“We make them fresh and use all-natural casings,” said Jones.


Jones Boys Market started in 1932 as G. Blank Grocery & Meat Market. It was run by Gertrude Blank, the great-aunt of Jones’ father, John Jones. After World War II, the business was taken over by John’s father, Buzz Jones, and uncle, Russ Jones, and then it took on its current name. Today, it remains in the family.


“We specialize in brats, but we’re a full service meat market,” said Dan Jones. “We still sell a lot of rib-eyes, sirloins, baby back ribs and pulled pork barbecue.”


He recommends cooking the thawed brats on a grill 18 to 22 minutes on low, indirect heat.


“Our brats are very lean and they cook faster than others,” he said. Brats also can be pan-fried or gently simmered in a pan of water, beer or juice until the liquid evaporates. They also can be added to a slow cooker with sauerkraut, potatoes and other dishes.


Dan Jones’ brother, Nick Jones, is partial to the currywurst, which has a mustard flavor. He prefers it in a bun, with no condiments.


“Our brats are tailor-made for flavor. They don’t need many toppings,” he said.


Food editor Kathryn Rem can be reached at kathryn.rem@sjr-.com.