ABSTRACT: This article reports the perception of cooked, nitrite-cured sheepmeat sausage that included 1.5% glucose, sucrose, xylose, or no sugar addition. The 4 sugar treatments were dry-cooked, vacuum packed, and stored chilled, and were hedonically assessed after 0, 1, and 2 mo. Consumers were advised that they could be eating any 1 of beef, chicken, lamb, pork, or turkey, in a salted cured preparation. Three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that liking of appearance, color, and texture were unaffected by sugar treatment, whereas liking of aroma, flavor, sweetness, and overall liking were markedly and significantly increased by xylose. Storage time as a factor had minimal effects on liking. In contrast, all attributes were liked more by male consumers (57%, P < 0.001). When asked to identify the meat species, lamb was correctly identified 50% of the time. With xylose, the observed frequency of lamb's misidentification as beef increased by 50% above the expected Chi-square frequency. This was largely at the expense of observed lamb selection frequency, which was 18% below expectation. When data were segregated by gender, the misidentification remained significant for males (P = 0.002), but was not significant for females (P = 0.32). The misidentification of beef for lamb may be due to the generation of Strecker aldehydes in the Maillard reaction between xylose and meat amino acids, which were shown to be greatly increased in the headspace above xylose-treated sausage. The restriction of significant misidentification to males is less easy to explain but may be associated with the possible greater sensitivity of females to volatile fatty acids, which are components of sweat.