The quest to preserve food has inspired mankind to be ingenious and creative, and one of the products of this ingenuity is the sausage, in existence for so long you can find it in Akkadian cuneiform tablet records, made during the time of the ancient Chinese dynasties and mentioned in ancient works like Homer’s Odyssey.
It has transitioned from that into the modern world’s version of this meat product, and it is hard to find a place on earth where there is no sausage or any version of it. If there is a butcher shop or meat shop or delicatessen, there’s sausage. If there’s a frozen section for meat or a display shelf for canned meat products, you will find sausage there, canned or frozen inside a vacuum-seal pack.
Sausage is made from ground meat. Sausage makers typically use pork or beef. It is not just ground meat, there’s also offal and blood in some cases. They add herbs and spices as well as other sources of flavor to achieve the desired flavor profile. Sausages are cooked during preparation. Other processes involved in making sausages include smoking and curing. There are sausages made from meat stuffed in a casing while there are also sausages without casing which you can flatten during cooking. Yes, sausages can also come in the shape of a patty.
- Sausage is one of the many processed foods in the frozen section or canned section of the grocery, but did you know that sausages hold the distinction of being the first processed food?
- Salami, a kind of sausage, got its name from the Italian word salary which means “to salt.”
- Some of Leo VI the Wise’s subjects suffered food poisoning after eating blood sausages, prompting the emperor to temporarily ban the production of blood sausages.
- The longest sausage in the Guinness World Records is 38.99 miles long, made in Romania in 2014.
- If you see someone spell it as “sawsyge”, don’t worry, they got it right – at least, how it was spelled in the 15th century.
Sausage Buying Guide
Here are some things to remember when buying sausages:
- Different kinds of sausages are made from different ingredients. Pork, beef, chicken, etc. Make sure you are ok to consume these kinds of meats. Your friends or family who will share the meal with you may not be eating pork or beef because of medical, religious, or other reasons. Consider them when buying.
- If you can’t eat meat, you have a choice: buy vegetarian or vegan sausages. This kind of sausage is made from non-animal ingredients like tofu.
- Grocery/Supermarket, delicatessen/meat shop, or artisanal, small-batch sausages? Why not try all of them? There are great brands of frozen sausages sold in supermarkets and in groceries. You are in an enviable position if this is your dilemma since these choices are not available to everyone who eats sausage.
- If you are trying a new brand, start with buying in small quantities, just in case you end up not liking it.
- Always check the packaging of frozen or canned sausages. Make sure the packaging is not damaged and there is no sign that the food inside is compromised. It is not advisable to consume sausages that came with damaged packaging that could’ve compromised the quality of the sausage and made it unsafe to eat.
- When browsing, read the label and compare to see which has fewer artificial ingredients and which one offers low saturated fat and low salt content. This way, you are in a position to buy a healthier option.
Sausage Production & Farming in Texas
Sausages and sausage-making are ubiquitous in Texas, an agricultural state dotted with ranches that raise cattle and livestock. There are many Texas brand sausages sold in the Lone Star state made by local businesses. These are available all year long. The strong presence of different cuisines in Texas deeply rooted in the state’s culinary culture means variety in types of sausages sold; for example, there are locally-made Czech-style sausages from Texans of Czech descent.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:
The preservatives, additives, and other artificial ingredients found in sausages are the reason why sausages are considered unhealthy food. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the public that the consumption of processed meats like sausages can lead to cancer. These ingredients are necessary to preserve sausages, to produce the desired taste and texture as well as color and appearance. These ingredients are also necessary to minimize the danger of consumers suffering from health problems like botulism and food poisoning. Some of the items listed below are commonly found in sausages:
- Benzoic acid
- Sodium benzoate
- Sodium chloride
- Sodium nitrite
- Sodium nitrate
- Sodium sorbate
- Sulphur dioxide
- Potassium nitrate
- Potassium sorbate
Ancient Greeks and Romans and the many different tribes in Europe were already making and eating sausages.
Over time, sausages evolved to become a specific type of product, like hotdogs, frankfurter, salami, pepperoni, chorizo, bratwurst, black pudding, haggis, and more. The variations are usually a result of the way it is made in a particular place. Frankfurters were from the German city of Frankfurt am Main; bologna is from the same place in Italy; romano is from Rome; Kulen is from Serbia and Croatia; Bratwurst is from Germany; Weisswurst or white sausage is from Munich; Haggis is from Scotland; black pudding is a British delicacy, along with other English sausages.
Sausages come in different packaging. Sausages sold in the frozen section of the grocery or supermarket come in vacuum-sealed packs or in a sealed plastic tray. You can also buy sausages sold in cans or you can also find them in a cardboard box. Westaways Sausages wanted its packaging to be 100% compostable, hence the use of recyclable cardboard and 100% eco-friendly cling-film-style wrapping.
There are companies that highlight convenience for consumers. For example, Richmond Sausages sells sausages placed in an oven-ready griddle tray.
Freshly-made sausages from meat shops and delicatessen are wrapped in butcher paper.
People all around the world eat sausages in many different ways. You can grill them or fry them. You can chop them up into little pieces and use them as topping for pizzas or calzones. There are some pizzas with a crust that uses sausages as filling. You can use sausage for baked goods or use it to make burgers. Sausage is a great ingredient to use when making stews, soups, casserole, and chili. You can use sausage when making mac and cheese for lunch or frittata for breakfast. A hotdog sandwich is quick and easy to make and this classic sausage-based snack is a favorite in many parts of the world. Cut-up sausage is great for spaghetti or any pasta dishes. You can also add this to your fried rice. If you are making a charcuterie board, sausages are a great addition to the spread. This is excellent finger food and a hit as bar food. Sausages are also a staple in the breakfast table, usually paired with eggs.
The sausage casing is an important part of the sausage’s identity. Ground meat and the rest of the ingredients are stuffed inside these casings to hold everything together during cooking and processing. Before industrial mass production of sausages, the casings are made from cleaned intestines or stomachs. Many companies today use the cheaper collagen casing or cellulose casing or even plastic casings. Casings are supposed to be edible since you eat this as part of the sausage, but in some cases, the casing is only meant to hold the product before cooking and it is removed and discarded and not meant to be consumed. Traditionally made sausages served in restaurants known for their sausages often make edible casings. Always make sure to read the label in the packaging to know for sure if the casing is edible or not.
Store your sausage in the freezer. Cooked sausage should be stored in the freezer. It should be placed in a food container with a lid. Sausage in a can is shelf-stable and can be stored in the cupboard or pantry. Just don’t store it where there is moisture or where it is under direct sunlight.
Make sausage pepper rice at home
If you love rice, then a bowl of sausage pepper rice is something you’ll find appetizing. This is a great rice meal that is easy to make.
Yield: This recipe makes 4 servings
- Olive oil
- Bell pepper
- 2 cups of rice
- Salt and pepper
- Additional herbs and spices of your choice
Step 1. Cook the rice.
Step 2. Once the rice is cooked and has cooled, break it apart so as it is loose and not sticking together.
Step 3. Cook the sausage. Fry it and slice it into small pieces. Set aside.
Step 4. Slice all the ingredients enough for spoon serving.
Step 5. In a pan or wok, sauté the onions and garlic.
Step 6. Add the rice and continue to stir until the rice is at the consistency of fried rice.
Step 7. Mix in the cut sausages.
Step 8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 9 Add herbs of your choice. Dried basil, rosemary, or thyme are good choices because they go well with meat.