When we say we are having sausage, usually we think of sausage from the freezer or sausage from the can. Not every meat-loving individual on earth has already encountered dried sausage, so pardon their surprise the first time they see/eat one.
I’m sure you’ve already encountered different sausages: chorizo, Frizzes, pepperoni, Lola, Lolita, Lyons, and salami are all examples of dried sausage, while examples of semi-dry sausage include summer sausage or Cervelat, Mortadella, and Lebanon bologna.
Dried Sausage Trivia
- Dried sausages are also called dry sausage and fermented sausage.
- You’ll probably notice white mold from the dried sausage on display and this has gone bad. Don’t worry, this normally happens during the drying process. Believe it or not, this helps in making dried sausages taste even better! Not to mention its role in keeping harmful bacteria away from the dried sausage.
- In Germany, you’ll probably encounter what is known as semidry (or semi-dry) sausage because it has less salt and as a result, did not dry well.
Dried Sausage Buying Guide
If you are looking for some dried sausages, you can try your local delicatessen, meat shop, butcher shop, artisanal store, specialty shops. There is also a good chance this is sold in the grocery or supermarket. Thanks to e-commerce, you can also order dried sausage online. If there is a meat vendor in your local farmers market, visit the stall because the vendor could be selling dried sausages.
When buying, ask if they have dried sausage or fermented sausage, just to be sure. Some may refer to it as fermented sausage so they’ll naturally say no if you ask them if they have dried sausage.
If you ever get the chance to talk to the sausage maker, inquire as to whether the dried sausage they are selling is ready to eat or if it still requires cooking. In the case of groceries and supermarkets, it is best to rely on the instructions found on the label of the packaging.
Dried Sausage Production & Farming in Texas
How do you dry sausages? Ground meat, the basic ingredient of sausage, is salted, the same way you do with other salted meat. Salting the meat removes the moisture which will cause the meat to rot and spoil if left unrefrigerated. In essence, the salt will turn the meat’s pH level in such a way that it is not amenable to bacteria that cause spoilage. Fermentation takes anywhere between 18 hours to 3 days. If the place is somewhere cold, a longer fermentation time might be needed unlike fermenting in a warm place.
Dried sausage in Texas varies, and the taste is influenced by the ancestry of the business owners – Germans, Polish, Czech, etc. For example, you might notice that the dried sausages sold in Dziuk’s Meat Market in Castroville and Wiatrek’s Meat Market in Poth and San Antonio are different from the others – that is because they follow the Polish way of making dried sausage. Many sausage makers in Texas have been making dried sausage for many generations
You can find many vendors in Texas making and selling dried sausage. For starters, you can opt for store-bought dried sausages. Buc-ee’s, a chain of convenience stores and gas stations, sells dried sausages, as well as H-E-B, a supermarket chain based in San Antonio, Texas. There are also a lot of meat markets and smokehouses in Texas that make and sell dried sausage for a long time. Here are some of them: Penshorn Meat Market in Marion, Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale, Granzin’s Market in New Braunfels, Kuby’s Sausage House in Dallas, Dziuk’s Meat Market in Castroville, Wiatrek’s Meat Market in Poth and San Antonio, Elder’s Country Store in Beeville, Klein Smokehouse in Boerne, Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin, New Braunfels Smokehouse in New Braunfels, Pollock’s in Falls City, Sklenarik’s Smoked Meats in Miles, and Vincek’s in East Bernard.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:
Nitrite is used in dried sausages. This is an important and common ingredient to make sure the sausage is safe and free from botulism-causing bacteria. Nonetheless, there are dried sausage makers who do not use nitrites even today.
You’ll find dry sausages in the Mediterranean, in European countries like Italy, Spain, and Portugal. In Africa, they call dry sausage “droëwors” while in Asia, an example of dry sausage is “lap cheong” or dried sausage. In the US, dried sausage is sold in many parts of the country.
Store-bought dried sausage is usually sold in vacuum-sealed plastic packaging with a label indicating the brand name, location where the product was made, best before or expiration date, storage information, nutritional information, and ingredients. You’ll also encounter dried sausages that are wrapped in butcher paper or a paper bag. Usually, this is the kind of dried sausage that will keep even at room temperature without refrigeration.
Enjoying Dried Sausages
So you have dried sausage, now what?
If you are unfamiliar with dried sausage and this is your first encounter with dried sausage, don’t worry. This is very delicious and there are a lot of things you can do with dried sausage. Right off the bat, you can simply snack on it. Just make sure what you have is ready to eat, since there are dried sausages that still need cooking.
Dried sausage is great any time of the day. You can have dried sausage for breakfast, along with eggs, rice, and beans. It is a great food to eat at lunch because it can give you the energy boost you need as you go through your day. In the evening, you can eat light and have a charcuterie board with dried sausages, some crackers, cheese, dried fruit, and wine.
It is great to have dried sausage around as part of your pantry so that you have ingredients to use just in case you have guests. It can be something as simple as a home-cooked stew with onions, potatoes, and tomatoes during the cold season.
Dried sausage is great as toppings for pizza. Cut them into small pieces and use them when making fried rice. It is a great ingredient to use in making noodle dishes. You can use it when making a sandwich.
There are dried sausages that are stable and do not need refrigeration. This is common in the dried sausages in the Mediterranean, or in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Although it is not surprising that many dried sausages still need to be stored in the refrigerator especially after opening the vacuum-sealed packaging. The dried sausages should be transferred in a resealable bag. You can also use aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Just be sure that the item is securely wrapped.
Just because you can hang your dried sausage knowing it will keep does not mean you can afford to leave it uneaten for long. Remember that dried sausage will turn tough, and when it happens the dried sausages are difficult to eat after some time.
Make fried rice with dried sausage at home
The good thing about fried rice is that you can make it fully loaded, you can eat it without any other dish. A common ingredient in fried rice recipes is dried sausage. It adds to the delicious flavor of fried rice.
Yield: This recipe makes 5 servings
- 2 pieces, Chinese sausages, cut into small pieces
- 5 cups of cooked rice
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 stalk scallions, cut into small pieces
- 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
- 100g peas
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
Step 1. Make scrambled eggs. Once cooked, set them aside.
Step 2. Stir fry scallions, celery, ginger, peas, and garlic.
Step 3. Add the Chinese sausages and continue to stir fry.
Step 4. Add the rice, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.
Step 5. Add the scrambled eggs.
Step 6. Add salt and pepper to taste.