General & History
I list mostly sausages easily and economically available in Southern
California. Sausages are perishable and expensive to ship so nearly all
examples are "made in USA". The vast ethnic communities in this country,
and particularly in Los Angeles, keep the sausage makers true (they
usually "came from there" anyway). Most of the examples were
obtained from markets serving those communities. As the U.S. overtakes
the Old World quality of wine, cheese and caviar, our sausage makers are
Due to changes in U.S. laws, mostly to mollify the Europeans, American
sausage makers can no longer make, say, a Hungarian Sausage (or any other
country's sausage), no matter how authentically made, and call it a
"Hungarian Sausage" - but our sausage makers are resourceful. Instead
they call it "Hungarian Brand Sausage", which doesn't imply it actually
camer from Hungary.
Also included are a number of purely authentic American industrial products
which make no pretense to traditional methods. The ingredient list generally
starts with "Mechanically separated chicken", has soy protein in the middle
and ends with "flavoring" and a long list of chemicals.
Traditionally sausages meats are stuffed into casings made from the
intestines of pigs, sheep, cows and veal calves. Pig casings are most
popular but for kosher and halal (Islamic) products manufacturers
use sheep casings, though they are more difficult to use.
Today volume producers
prefer an artificial casing made from collagen for product uniformity.
Collagen is made by boiling down animal hides. Inedible casings are also
used, particularly for larger size. Fiber casings have a look and feel more
like natural casings than plastic casings do. "Skinless" products like hot
dogs and many vegetarian sausages are made in a plastic casing which is
stripped off after cooking and before packaging.
The photo shows natural pork casings obtained from a local Philippine
market, about 5-1/2 feet long each and weighing about 0.6 ounce each. They
are cleaned, heavily salted and must be refrigerated and used within a
few days. About 1/4 inch wide as shown they will expand to about 1-1/2
inches diameter when filled.
While natural and collagen casings are easily purchased for making meat
sausage at home, vegetarians will find there is no casing for them and will
have to form their sausage into patties, loaves, roll them in some substance
or other, or wrap them in plastic to be stripped off after preliminary
cooking. High volume makers of vegetarian sausage can use a liquid coating
system which produce an effect similar to a collagen casing.
Sausage or Salami?
Well, technically they're all
sausages but those called "salami" are generally drier, firmer, likely
saltier, often larger, and can be sliced and eaten without cooking. Most
salamis are raw and cured by air drying, salting an/or smoking, but some
are cooked. Some called sausages are air dried, cured, salted, and/or smoked
and eaten uncooked as well.
Many sausages are grilled or fried and eaten with mustard. I have tried
any number of mustards, fancy and plain. Many clash with or distract from
the sausage. Economical mustards I've found excellent with sausages are
French's Spicy Brown Mustard, Morehouse Deli Mustard and Gulden's Spicy
Pronounced "ahn-DOO-wee", it's a pork sausage in the Cajun / Creole style
of Louisiana, USA and used for recipes from that area. It is said to be
descended from the sausages of Normandy and Brittany France which in turn
may descend from similar German sausages. This is one of the few "hot"
sausages that actually take that designation seriously. Commercial versions
are smaller in diameter than traditionally made, the meat chopped finer, and
not smoked nearly as long so are lighter in color. The photo specimens
(commercial) were fully cooked, 5 inches long, 1.2 inches in diameter and
weighed 3 ounces each. 200 calories / link, 75% from fat, they need to be
kept refrigerated and should be used within just a few days from opening
the vacuum package. Typically: pork, water, salt, spices, garlic, paprika,
other flavorings, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
Armenian Sausage - See
Soujuk, also Erevanskaya.
This is your basic British pub sausage. Bangers are thick, so if purchased
fresh they should be simmered about 10 minutes to cook through, just as with
bratwurst (and as with bratwurst I usually simmer in beer). Once cooked
through they are grilled, roasted or fried to get a crisp skin. Bangers are
a very mild fine textured sausage with a hint of sage. Much of the flavor
comes from a well browned exterior. The name "banger" comes from Word War
II scarcity in England where sausages made with extra water to stretch the
ingredients tended to explode when cooked.
British commercial brands are generally about 65% pork (up to half of
which can be fat) and 30% rusk (dried yeast-free bread) but traditional
butchers may use up to 90% pork. Seasonings are generally sage, onion salt
and spices. The photo samples, made in California by Papa
Cantella's, follow "best practices" with just 10% rusk. They were 5-1/4
inches long, 1-1/4 inch in diameter and weighed 3-3/8 ounces - pork, water,
rusk, salt, dextrose, spices and hydrolized pork stock. 280 calories per
link, 71% from fat.
Pronounced "bah-stourm-AH", this is the Armenian version of a family of dry
cured meats to which Prosciutto and Pastrami belong. Sections of beef, filet
mignon whole loin is best, are first buried in salt for 2-3 days, then washed,
dried and pressed under weights, then dried again. they are finally soaked
for 2 weeks or so in a paste called Chaman made of salt, fenugreek,
garlic (lots of garlic), paprika, chilis, and other spices, then packaged
coated with this mixture. Clearly this is powerful stuff! The photo sample,
by Eureka, was 6 inches by 4-3/4 inches by 1-5/8 inches
and weighed about a pound. The fine print says, "Raw beef, cook before
eating", but I think this is widely ignored - it's just sliced very thin
and eaten as is. It is used in recipes though, for instance it can be used
in place of Soujuk in
Eggs & Soujuk Sausage
Note that the word "basturma" (variously spelled) is widespread through
the Caucasus, Turkey and the Balkans but doesn't mean the same thing every
where. While in the U.S. and Armenia basturma is made of beef as described
here, elsewhere it may be made of lamb and in some places pork. In some areas
the word represents a recipe for marinated lamb or beef grilled on skewers,
not sausage-like at all.
Sausages have been made with blood as an ingredient for thousands of years
worldwide as a natural part of using the whole animal without waste. Even
the Navajo have a version made with corn meal in a sheep stomach, but blood
sausages are forbidden to Jews, Moslems and Pythagoreans. Blood is extremely
perishable so most blood sausages are fully cooked. If you purchase a fresh
blood sausage it must be cooked immediately.
Black Pudding - [England, Ireland, Scotland;
Marag dubh (Scot)]
Made in the British Isles from onions, pork fat, oatmeal, flavorings
and blood (usually pig).
Blutwurst - [German]
A sausage made of pork, beef and beef blood popular in Germany as a
snack food. It's fully cooked but is often fried before serving.
The photo samples, made by Continental Gourmet Sausage
are in two sizes. The larger is actually round but sliced on an angle,
the smaller was 4-1/2 inches long, 2-3/8 inches in diameter and weighed
just over 10 ounces. If you fry this sausage it will disintegrate, but is
then excellent for spreading on bread or toast or using as an omelet
filling. Made of pork snouts, pork tongues, pork skins, beef, pork back
fat, onions, salt, spices, flavorings, sodium nitrite.
Boudin Noir - French
Boudin Rouge - Louisiana, USA
Kishka - [Polish-American
(variously spelled); Derma, Stuffed derma]
Made from blood, beef and barley, and customarily served as a breakfast
sausage. See also the Jewish Kishke.
Morcelas - [Portugal]
Morcilla - [Spain]
This sausage is important to the cuisines of Spain. It holds together
quite well when simmered so it can be used in soups and stews. The photo
specimens were Morcilla de Cebolla (Morcilla with Onion), 5 inches long
1-1/4 inches diameter and weighed 4 ounces. Pork, dehydrated onions, beef
blood, salt, paprika, spices, garlic, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite,
36% fat. These were from La Espanola Meats.
Morcilla de Arroz - [Spain]
This sausage is very common in Spanish kitchens. Like regular Morcilla
it is used in stews, but it swells and disintegrates rather than staying
whole. It can also be grilled and/or fried. They are more perishable than
regular Morcilla so they should be kept refrigerated and used soon after
purchase. The photo specimens were 5-1/4 inches long 1-1/8 inches diameter
and weighed 4 ounces. Pork, cooked rice, dehydrated onions, beef blood,
salt, paprika, garlic, spices, 7% fat. These were from
La Espanola Meats.
A German sausage traditionally made of veal and pork but heavier on the
veal, but even in Germany now made with chicken, turkey, lamb and sometimes
horse. It is lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and sometimes other
seasonings, has a natural casing and in Germany is sometimes smoked. It's
name comes from a tradition of eating it with bock beer (and spicy mustard).
It is generally cooked by simmering, but if over cooked it will split open
so the trick is to pull it just before it splits. Photo sample (cooked,
Safeway branded, maker unknown) was 5 inches by 1-1/4 inch and weighed 3.5
ounces each. Veal, pork, water, soy protein concentrate, salt, spices, onion
powder, dextrose fresh eggs and fresh onions; 230 calories per link 70% from
Not to be confused with Boer Wars, this is the favorite sausage of South
Africa, originally created by Dutch settlers, the Boers. It is made from
beef, but may also contain pork and/or lamb, and is in the form of a
coil. Spicing typically includes coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg,
cloves and allspice. Preparation is usually to grill a whole coil. It is
often eaten made into "boerie rolls", in a split roll similar to an
American hot dog. The photo specimen is an all beef version made in
California by Harmony Farms, 1-1/4 inches diameter.
It is dark in color because it doesn't include the nitrites or nitrates
usually included in commercial sausages, so it is sold frozen. Ingred:
Beef chuck meat, salt, spices, MSG, sodium metabisulphite, citric acid,
sodium erythorbate, hog casing.
An American version of the Italian Mortadella (also adopted by Russia under
the name Doctorskaya Keilbasa), properly pronounced
"baloney". It's a very finely ground, fully cooked sausage sold in various
sizes and shapes and often in pre-sliced packages. Large sizes are used for
making sandwiches and small sizes for frying for breakfast and similar uses.
In northeastern Canada a fried or barbecued slab of bologna is called a
"Newfie Steak". A similar sausage is made in Australia and variously called
polony, fritz, devon or strasbourg.
As an imitation mortadella, bologna is properly made of pork and lard,
but in the U.S. it is also made of chicken, turkey, beef and (may the gods
help us) soybeans. The photo specimens are:
- Mikailian Meat Products, Valencia, California: 2-1/2 inch
diameter. This product fries well and browns quickly. Pork, water, beef,
nonfat dry milk, salt, dextrose, sodium phosphate, spices, garlic
paprika, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sodium nitrite.
- Red Square, Somerset, New Jersey: 4-3/4 inch diameter, also
labeled "Doctorskaya" (in Cyrilic). This product fries up quite light
due to a lot of incorporated air bubbles Pork, water salt sodium
erythorbate, white pepper, sodium phosphate, sodium nitrate, paprika.
- Oscar Mayer, Madison Wisconsin: 4-1/4 inch diameter, a leading
supermarket brand, pre-sliced for sandwiches. When fried this product
dries out badly and has little flavor. Mechanically separated
chicken, pork, water, corn syrup, salt, sodium lactate, flavor, sodium
phosphate, autolyzed yeast, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, sodium
nitrite, dextrose, extractives of paprika, potassium phosphate, sugar,
Cooking: Bologna is commonly sliced fairly thin and used in
sandwiches with no further cooking, but it is also often fried. When frying
a cut is usually made from one side to the center because it otherwise tends
to buckle badly. It exudes little oil so it needs some oil in the pan for heat
transfer. Bologna is also used as a wrap around mashed potatoes and baked,
and in many other ways.
Storing: Bologna should always be kept well refrigerated and should
be used within 7 days of opening a vacuum package.
Bratwurst - [Liberty Sausage (U.S.
The name Bratwurst comes from brat, a fine chopped meat, though
some hold it was from braten, to fry. Bratwurst are very popular in Germany
and in the American Midwest, particularly Wisconsin and Ohio where large
numbers of Germans settled. These sausages are usually made from pork or
pork and veal but sometimes from pork and beef. Originally from the region
of Thuringia where the local version is called Thüringer
Rostbratwurst, it is now made all over Germany and the U.S. with minor
variations of size and seasoning.
These sausages are easily identified by their white color. They
are almost always finished by roasting or grilling whole, though in the
U.S. they may also be pan fried because the special bratwurst roasters
common in Germany are scarce here. The photo sample,
Hilshire Farm brand, was 5 inches long by 1.35 inches
diameter and weighed 3.5 ounces - 260 calories, 81% from fat. Typically:
pork, water, corn syrup, salt, sodium lactate, dextrose, sodium diacetate,
Fresh bratwurst is produced mainly by specialty sausage makers but is
occasionally available in Southern California supermarkets. It looks
pretty much like any other fresh pork sausage and usually ends up roasted
or grilled. Since it is fairly thick it should be pre-cooked by simmering
in beer or broth until cooked through before roasting. The photo samples
by Papa Cantella's were 5-3/4 inches long, 1-1/8 inch
in diameter and weighed 3-1/4 ounces. This brand is one of my favorite
breakfast sausages - excellent flavor and texture. Pork, salt, dextrose,
corn syrup solids, mustard and spice extractives and water.
This is a Smoked Bratwurst with cheddar cheese inside. Very popular
in the U.S. Midwest and in other Germanic regions. The photo specimen, by
Hilshire Farm, was 5-1/2 inches long, 1 inch in diameter
and weighed 2.7 ounces. Pork, beef, water, Wisconsin cheddar cheese, corn
syrup, natural spices, natural flavors, salt, dextrose, isolated soy
protein, sodium lactate, sodium diacetate, monosodium glutamate, vitamin C,
sodium nitrite. These should be kept refrigerated and used within 7 days
of breaking the vacuum seal.
This German sausage is much thinner, longer, and more intensely spiced
than most versions of bratwurst and it has a lot more texture. The photo
sample from Continental Gourmet Sausage Co. was
8 inches long by 0.95 inches in diameter and weighed 3-1/4 ounces.
This sausage is fully cooked but the smoking process uses dry heat and
produces a normal brown product rather than white. The photo sample,
Hilshire Farm brand, was 5-1/2 inches long, 1 inch in
diameter and weighed 2.6 ounces - 240 calories / link, 79% from fat.
A German soft spreadable pork liver sausage very similar to
Liverwurst but almost always smoked and deeper in
flavor. Its name derives from the German town of Braunschweig and its main use
is as a sandwich spread. Braunschweiger is highly perishable, should be kept
well refrigerated and eaten in less than a week. The photo sample by
Farmer John was 6-1/4 inches long, 2-3/8 inches in
diameter and weighed 1 pound. Pork, pork liver, cured bacon, salt, water,
flavorings, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
Breakfast Chub -
[Chub Sausage, Country Pork Sausage]
A soft pork sausage generally formed into patties or used as a recipe
ingredient. It is most commonly sold in "regular", sage and hot versions.
The photo sample, by Jimmy Dean was a 2-1/2 inch diameter
1 pound chub. Pork, water, salt, spices, sugar, corn syrup, monosodium
glutamate. Calories are figured on a 2 ounce cooked sample which
would have been 2.6 ounces raw and disregards fat left in the pan -
220 calories, 86% from fat.
The common American breakfast sausage served in diners and hotels. The
photo specimens are Farmer John brand produced by a major
Los Angeles pork factory. These fry up quickly because of their small
diameter, brown well and are tasty due to the high fat content. Quite a bit
of fat is rendered while frying. The specimens are 3-1/2 inches long by
0.66 inch diameter, weigh about 1 ounce each. 50 calories / link, 70% from
fat. These have a thin casing and are simply formed at the ends and cut
rather than twisted. There are versions without casings that are simply
extruded and cut to length but those don't fry as nicely. Typically: pork,
water, sodium lactate, salt, flavorings, sugar and collagen casings.
[(Spain) | smaller, Butifarrita]
This fully cooked sausage, originating from Catalonia, Spain, is similar
to a mild, usmoked Cervelat or Summer Sausage. It is used sliced in
sandwiches, diced as a garnish and cut into pieces for inclusion in stews.
It is also made in a regular link size called Butifarrita, which is often
grilled. The photo specimen was made in Catalán style by La
Española Meats, Harbor City, California. It was 6 inches long,
2-3/8 inch in diameter and weighed 1 pound. Pork, salt, spices, garlic,
sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
Cabanos - see
A ham sausage made from pork butt (high on the shoulder, not the aft end of
the pig), cut into chunks, spiced, and coated with a mix of spices and
paprika (hot paprika for hot capicolla). It's then packed in 3 to 4 inch
casings and smoked until fully cooked. The photo specimens were about 3-1/2
Capicolla is intensely flavorful so generally used sliced very thin for
sandwiches and the like. Typically it contains salt, coriander, sugar, mace,
phosphates, citric acid, pepper, juniper berries and garlic powder while
the coating is paprika, chili powder, fennel seed and black pepper.
[Summer Sausage, Blockwurst, Thuringer, Landjaeger]
A family of mildly seasoned semi-soft salamis, fermented and smoked, made
from pork or pork and beef or beef. These popular "ready to eat" sausages
are made throughout Europe. In North America they are also very popular but
are called Summer Sausage. European
Mortadella is a finely ground variety of cervelat but
American mortadella is Bologna with lumps of fat. The
photo sample, by Sausage Factory in Los Angeles, was
labeled "Cervelat" and subtitled "Russian Brand Smoked Sausage". It was
13-1/2 inches long, 1-3/4 inches in diameter and weighed 1.2 pounds. Pork,
salt, spices, sugar, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite. These sausages must
be kept refrigerated and should be eaten within a week of cutting the
Chedderwurst - see Bratwurst
Chinese Sausages -
[lap cheong (China)]
Thin, wrinkled, rather dry, rather sweet pork sausages traditionally packaged
in pairs. They are usually used as an ingredient in recipes and are to be
cooked before serving. The flavor is unique and there is no ready substitute.
These sausages are manufactured by the millions in the West Coast states
to supply the huge Asian communities here so few are imported. The photo
specimens, made in Seattle, Washington, were 6 inches long by 0.8 inches in
diameter and weighed 1.6 ounces each. 240 calories/link 79% from fat. They
are generally sold in vacuum packages and will keep a week or so refrigerated
after opening. Typically: pork, pork fat, sugar, soy sauce, salt, grain
alcohol, sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate.
- [(Spanish), Chouriço (Portugal)]
A family of sausages originating from Spain and Portugal and adopted by
all Spanish and Portuguese speaking peoples around the world. It comes in
the three categories listed below, Fresh,
Dry-Cured. In the U.S. the word "chorizo"
implies a fresh or Mexican style chorizo that is generally broken from its
casing and cooked as an ingredient, and "Spanish chorizo" implies a dry
cured "ready to eat" sausage, though it still may be used as a recipe
ingredient. See also
Longaniza a Chorizo variant and the default name for
Chorizo type sausages in the Philippines.
Chorizo - Fresh -
Simply "Chorizo" in most of the world, it must be qualified by
"Fresco" in Spain and Portugal. These are uncooked, uncured versions of
pork sausage found throughout North, Central and South America, the
Caribbean, and elsewhere. In Spain pimentón (smoked paprika) and
garlic are the major flavorings.
Properly a version of Chorizo Fresco spiced with chilis rather than paprika.
Improperly it's a dumping ground for parts of the pig that can't be
unloaded any other way. I've seen commercial brands where the top two
ingredients are "pork salivary glands, lymph nodes".
Buy: Only "store made" from a market that serves a
Latino community. All the packaged products I've examined are totally
inferior. This sausage is removed from its casing, then crumbled as it cooks.
It should fry up crumbly with very little oil - not disintegrating
into mush or swimming in a pool of oil. It is quite red in color but only
moderately hot. It is perishable; keep refrigerated and use in less than
Salvadoran Paisano Chorizo
This Salvadoran peasant style chorizo with strips of corn husk tying off
the links has more internal integrity than the Mexican. It can be sliced
before frying if desired but can still be crumbled easily. It
doesn't bleed so much of that awful red color as the Mexican but
has a similar chili bite from less of a hotter chili. It releases a
moderate amount of oil when fried, and in my opinion, has better
flavor than the Mexican. The photo examples, purchased from a market
in Glendale, CA were 3-1/2 inches long, 1-1/2 inches diameter and weighed
3 ounces each. These should be kept refrigerated and used in less
than a week.
Much different from all the above, it looks much like a
Fresh Bratwurst and may be made of pork, beef, or a
combination of both. It may be flavored with herbs, paprika and/or chili,
but not nearly as heavy as with Mexican chorizo. For a long thin version
see Salchicha Parrillera. Subst: fresh
bratwurst will work.
Chorizo - Semi-Cured
This is your cooking chorizo for Spanish and Portuguese cuisines. These
versions have been fermented with a starter culture and partially dried. They
need to be cooked and need to be stored in the refrigerator but will keep
considerably longer than fresh chorizo.
Chorizio de Bilbao -
[(Spain - Basque)]
This is the cooking chorizo most available in North America, with
several manufacturers here. I buy it from the freezer cases of Philippine
markets in Southern California, but it can also be ordered from the usual
Spanish import emporiums. The photo specimen was distributed by Martin
Pure Foods of Walnut, CA. It was 4-1/2 inches long, 1-1/4 inches in
diameter and weighed 2.5 ounces.
This style of semi-cured sausage originated in the Basque region of
northern Spain. It's mildly spicy, and excellent in stews, soups, paella
and with rice or lentils. It can be sliced and holds its shape well when
cooked. When fried it exudes a lot of oil so you'll probably need to pour
some off if, say, making sausage & eggs.
Chorizio Riojano -
As you may be able to tell from the bright red color, this sausage
tastes very strongly of Spanish paprika, but is only mildly chili-hot.
These are grilled, fried or used in stews, and are important for some
recipes from the Rioja region of Spain. They have an easily peeled off
skin and stay quite firm with wet cooking. The photo specimens were
made in the style of Rioja, by La Española Meats, Harbor City,
California. They were 3-3/4 inches long, 1 inch in diameter and
weighed 2.0 ounces each. Pork, sea salt, nonfat dry milk, dextrose,
pimentón (smoked paprika), garlic, liquid smoke, oleoresin of
paprika, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, lactic starter culture.
Chorizo - Dry-Cured -
These Chorizos, fermented and air dried, can (and usually are) eaten
sliced thin and without cooking. Simply "Chorizo" in Spain and Portugal but
must be qualified as "Spanish Chorizo" in the U.S. and most of the rest of
the world. Of course every region of Spain and Portugal has its own version,
but most available in the U.S. are made here.
Popular for appetizers, this intensely red chorizo originated in the
Salamanca, Segovia & Valladolid regions of Spain. It is quite firm and
ready to slice thin and eat as-is. It has a deep favor dominated by Spanish
smoked paprika. The photo sample, from La Espanola Meats
was 1-1/2 inches in diameter and 7-1/2 inches long, but obviously cut
from a longer length. Pork, beef, water, sea salt, smoked paprika (pimenton),
nonfat dry milk, sodium caseinate, cane sugar, garlic, spices, oleoresin
of paprika, lactic acid starter culture.
This Spanish made chorizo (both mild and hot (Picante)) is quite commonly
available in North America (or at least in Southern California) It has an
excellent smoky flavor. The photo specimen is the Picante version, 15
inches long, 1-1/8 inches in diameter and weighing 7.9 ounces. The mild
version his lighter in color and has a white rope rather than red. No
ingredient list but "All natural, no artificial ingredients, minimally
processed". Packed by Embutidos Palacios S.A., La Rioja, Espana.
A form of sausage packaging used primarily for soft sausage that will be
crumbled, spread or formed into patties, but firmer sausages can also be
described as "chubs". A Chub is generally short and thick with common sizes
of 12 oz, 1 pound and 2 pound. The casing is generally non-edible plastic or
fiber sealed with metal rings at the ends - a packaging highly suited to
volume production. Chub Sausage generally refers to a loose pork
Breakfast Sausage that can be formed into patties.
Cotto means cooked in Italian and this sausage is generally cooked in the
smokehouse as part of the smoking process. This sausage is fairly distinctly
seasoned with black peppercorns and garlic and distinctly smoked. The photo
sample, Albertson's house brand, is in the standard 4-1/4 inch American
sliced sandwich meat format. Mechanically separated chicken, pork hearts,
pork, corn syrup, water beef, flavoring, salt, hydrolyzed soy protein,
potassium lactate, sodium lactate, dextrose, sodium diacetate, sodium
erythorbate, sodium nitrite. 60 calories per slice, 58% from fat.
Danger Dog -
[Tijuana Bacon Dog]
Danger Dogs get their name from the street vendors of Tijuana, not always
the most mindful of bacteria. It has become quite popular in Southern
California and other Southwest states where you can buy them from street
vendors at practically any event that draws a crowd. You can also buy them
(in relative safety) in supermarkets and fry them up yourself. Danger dogs
are served in a bun with grilled onions and chili sauce or topped with
mayonnaise. Danger Dogs have also surfaced as the
Jersey Breakfast Dog, far more dangerous than the
Doctorskaya Kolbasa -
[Doctorskaya Balogna, Baby Bologna]
A Russian version of Bologna. It is called "Doctor's" and "Baby" from it's
very smooth soft texture (thought suitable for invalids and babies). It is
made in various sizes and may be made from pork or veal. Specialty sausage
makers often double label it, "Balogna" in Roman letters and "Doctorskaya"
in Cyrilic. The photo sample, made by Eureka, was 2
inches in diameter, made from pork, and was distinctly spiced with nutmeg.
Eureka also makes it in 3 inch diameter.
"Erevanskaya" is Russian for "from Yerevan" (in Armenia). I've had a hard time
finding information on any Armenian sausages other than
Soujuk, which this clearly isn't. Eureka
subtitles it "Armenian smoked dry hot salami", and as a major maker of soujuk
they certainly should know the difference, but I have no idea what this
sausage might be called in Armenia. It's a fermented sausage (like soujuk)
and much dryer and spicier than Eureka's various Russian sausages, though
I certainly wouldn't call it "hot" by Southern California standards. The
photo sample was 14-1/2 inches long, 1-3/4 inches in diameter, and weighed
1.2 pounds. Pork, salt, dextrose, garlic, black pepper, coriander, hot red
pepper, starter culture, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
Estonian Salami -
A cooked, ready to eat semi-soft salami in a larger size. It is subtly but
definitely seasoned and a good salami for eating plain. It needs to be kept
refrigerated and should be eaten within a week of opening the vacuum pack.
The photo sample, by Groezinger's, was 2-1/2 inches in
diameter, 6 inches long and weighed 14 ounces. Pork, beef, water, corn
syrup solids, salt, spices, sodium phosphate, monosodium glutamate,
sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
Frankfurter - see Wiener.
Some lump fuet as "chorizo" because it's Spanish (Catalunia region), but it's
really its own thing and doesn't have the intense paprika Spanish chorizos
have.This is a dry fermented sausage ready to slice and eat. Fuet means "whip",
and most is at least half again as long as the photo sample which is a short
version for the convenience of retail stores. The sample, from
La Espanola Meats, was 8-1/4 inches long, 1-1/8 inch in
diameter and weighed 9 ounces. Pork, sea salt, nonfat dry milk, cane sugar,
spices, lactic acid starter.
Named for Giumry, the second largest city in Armenia, this is a fermented,
cooked and smoked Cervelat style sausage, but a bit more pungent than many.
The photo sample, by Eureka, was 14 inches long, 1-3/4 i
inches in diameter and weighing 1-1/4 pounds. Pork, beef, sodium lactate, salt,
garlic, sodium phosphate, sugar, spices, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate.
A Hungarian sausage named for the town of Gyula. This medium spicy sausage
traditionally made from coarsely chopped pork, bacon fat and beef seasoned
with red paprika, pepper, garlic and caraway, then dried with smoke. It
is fairly dry and can be eaten raw. The photo sample (Hungarian Brand by
Bende & Son in Vernon Hills, Illinois) was 8 inches long, 1.3 inches
in diameter and weighed 0.44 pounds. Pork, salt, paprika, flavoring, sodium
lactate, sugar, lactic acid starter culture, ascorbic acid, sodium nitrite.
Hamonado - see
A sausage made of various parts of the pig head (tongue, snout, etc.) and
sometimes other parts of the pig (but not ears), chopped in large chunks and
suspended in a clear pork jelly. This is one of my favorites but some people
may not like seeing what they're eating.
This flavorful sausage is very popular in Northern Germany. It is made of
pork, beef and mustard seeds, then smoked and dried. The photo specimen
was a half link 2.18 inches diameter and wighing 9 ounces. The whole link
would have been about 9 inches long. Made somewhere in North America.
Hot Dog - see Wiener.
Italian Dry Salami
This is a raw fermented salami aged in a temperature and humidity controlled
environment where it accumulates a blue/white coating of natural mold. It
is normally just sliced and eaten, but it can be used as a pizza topping
or mixed into salads. This salami can be kept at a cool room temperature but
if kept too long it will dry out and be impossible to chew.
The photo specimen, by Gallo (not the wine company),
was 2-1/2 inches diameter, 13 inches long and weighed 2 pounds. Pork, nonfat
dry milk, dextrose, salt, spices, sauterne wine, lactic acid starter culture,
vitamin C, garlic, sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, 110 calories/ounce,
73% from fat.
In the USA "Italian Sausage" means a fresh pork sausage seasoned with fennel
and other spices, properly made with a meat to fat ratio of 3 to 1. Similar
sausages are actually made in Italy. Here it is generally available in "Hot"
and "Mild" versions but the hot are still fairly mild. Some are made with
extra fennel seeds and sold as Italian Fennel Sausage.
The photo specimens
(mild on left, hot on right) were "store made" by a local Italian market.
They ranged from 5-1/2 to 6 inches long, 1.4 inches in diameter and between
4.2 and 4.8 ounces each.
Buy preferably "store made" from a reputable Italian market -
commercial brands are highly variable in quality. This sausage must be cooked
before eating and may be cooked whole (pierce the casings in a few
places so they don't explode), or stripped of their casings and crumbled,
depending on use. They can be sliced before cooking if nearly frozen.
These sausages are perishable so keep well refrigerated and use within a
few days. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Literally "Hunting Sausage", this is a German cooked sausage made of pork,
beef and water, variously spiced. Part of the meat is very finely ground
while part of it is left coarsely ground. In East Germany under the Soviets
this sausage was often sliced, breaded, and fried, then called
"Jägerschnitzel". This is not to be confused with the real
Jägerschnitzel, which is a veal schnitzel served with mushroom sauce.
Fat content for Jagdwurst is usually around 20%. Mikale's:
Pork, Water, Beef, Non-Fat Dry Milk, Salt, Garlic, Sodium Phosphate, Dextrose,
Spices, Paprika, Sodium Nitrite, Citric Acid.
Jersey Breakfast Dog
This is a New Jersey adaptation of the Danger Dog.
Following the hot dog tradition of New Jersey, they are deep fried rather
than grilled or pan fried. Breakfast Dogs are served on a bun with a fried
egg and melted cheese under them, which looks far more deadly than the
original Danger Dog. This formula is derived from the Jersey Breakfast
Sandwich, made from Jersey Pork Roll rather than hot
dogs. Other New Jersey forms of deep fried hot dogs (without
bacon) are "in and outers" (fried until lightly blistered) and "rippers"
(fried until they split wide open). Photo copyright Jason
Perlow, all rights released.
Jersey Pork Roll - [Taylor Ham]
This "King of Mystery Meats" is made from secret recipes by several companies
in or around Trenton, New Jersey. Maker John Taylor has become sufficiently
dominant to make "Taylor Ham" a generic alternative to Jersey Pork Roll,
but some connoisseurs prefer products from smaller makers.
The recipes may be secret, but one thing is for sure, salt. Enough salt
so I think the product is eternal - even mold doesn't grow on it. Several
sellers ship pork roll to most points in the U.S. packed in styrofoam with
frozen gel packs. The photo specimen (4 inch diameter, 4 pounds) was shipped
to me UPS 3rd day ground courtesy Mike Vitale (Yendor). The most famous use
for Pork Roll is the
Jersey Breakfast Sandwich
Details and Cooking.
[(Polish), Cabanos, Hunter's Sausage, Kabanosy (plural)]
In Poland this thin dry well smoked sausage may be made from pork, beef, lamb
or horse, but in the U.S. it's always pork - except in kosher delis where
it's made of turkey. A popular snack sausage, it's often just broken off and
eaten. It may be made of just pork, salt and pepper, but other seasonings
including garlic and spices may be used. The photo samples, purchased at a
deli in Los Angeles, were 14 inches long, 0.8 inches in diameter and weighed
4.3 ounces each.
[(Polish), Kolbasa (Russian), Kolbasz (Hungarian)]
This generic word for Sausage is said to derive from the
Turkish word külbasti, literally "pressed on the ashes" but
often translated as "grilled cutlet".
Kielbasa - U.S. -
[Polish Sausage, Keilbasa]
A cooked and generally lightly smoked sausage sort of resembling one made
in Poland. Generally about 18 inches long and bent into a "U" shape but
other sizes are also made. The closest Polish equivalent is wiejska, which
translates roughly to "country one" which is made of pork and veal and
generally sold in the familiar "U" shape.
While the original would be made from better cuts of pork and veal, the
big meat packers may use pork, beef, chicken, turkey or whatever they have
a lot of offcuts of.
NutritionData. Small sausage makers often provide a good
equivalent to the original.
Jewish (variously spelled)
This dark sausage is a kosher stand-in for the Polish blood sausage
Of course it contains no blood and no pork but is made from matzo meal,
onions and suet stuffed into a beef casing.
A fully cooked sausage of German origin rather like a plump
Wiener, but unlike skinless hot dogs, it generally has
a casing. It can be prepared and served by all methods used for wieners but
cooking time must be longer and temperatures lower to allow full penetration
of heat. If roasted or fried it will split open, justifying the name which
means "crack sausage". The photo specimen, from European Meat
Specialties was 5-3/4 inches long, 1-1/2 inches in diameter and weighed
5.6 ounces. Typically: pork, water, non fat dry milk, salt, spices, sodium
phosphate, sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate.
Krakow Salami -
A fully cooked Polish sausage, ready to eat but needs to be kept refrigerated
and used within a week of breaking the vacuum seal. The photo specimen,
by Eureka was 17 inches long, 1-1/2 inches in diameter
and weighed 1 pound. Nicely seasoned and excellent just sliced thin. Other
manufacturers may make them shorter and straight. Typically: beef, pork, salt,
sodium phosphate, spices, sugar sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
[Georgian Style Sausage]
A fully cooked sausage, 0.85 diameter formed into a coil 6 inches
across. The photo specimen was by Red Square Foods.
Pork, chicken, lamb, onion, cilantro, dill, garlic, pepper, spices,
sugar, sodium nitrite.
Lamb Sausage, Moroccan
The photo samples, obtained fresh from a Whole Foods Market, were 7
inches long, 1 inch in diameter and weighed 3 ounces. Lamb, spices (black
pepper, cumin, coriander), sea salt, citric acid, natural lemon flavor,
canola oil, and natural lamb casings. This formulation is fine for the flavor
of North African recipes, but doesn't assure kosher /
halal if the animals have not been slaughtered and prepared in accordance with
religious laws - plenty good enough for Christians and Pagans though.
This is a rather spicy sausage, though the "hot" aspect comes from
black pepper rather than chilis. The cumin and coriander are fairly
assertive as well. In cooking it exudes quite a bit of both oil and water,
so for browning you want to use a fairly high heat (and there will be a
lot of splattering). Grilling over hot coals will get better browning
than frying, but frying works fine too. The overall effect is significantly
drier than a pork sausage but moist enough to be enjoyable, and of course
the flavor is different.
Named for the Lebanon Valley of Pennsylvania where it was developed by
German immigrants, this salami went into commercial production in 1885.
A truly American salami with a distinct and memorable flavor, it is still
made primarily in the Lebanon Valley. Three major manufacturers using
traditional methods, are Weavers,
Seltzer's and Kutztown. Made from
beef and salt, Lebanon bologna is fermented and aged for at least 10 days,
some of that time overlapping a slow smoking process. The photo sample, by
Seltzer's, is the standard 4-1/4 inch diameter American sliced sandwich meat
format, though other sizes are made. Beef, salt, sugar, dextrose, spices,
lactic acid starter culture, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite. 40 calories
per slice, 50% from fat.
Pronounced ling-GWEE-sah, this is the essential sausage for cooking
Portuguese soups and stews. It's similar to Spanish longaniza but not at all
similar to longaniza from anywhere else. The version in the photo is fully
cooked and lightly smoked, made by Silva in California
who say they've been making the same sausage for 35 years. It was 9-1/2 inches
long, 1-1/4 inches in diameter and weighed 6-1/2 ounces. Pork, wine, vinegar,
non-fat dry milk, salt, paprika, sugar, garlic, spices, monosodium glutamate,
A soft spreadable fully cooked sausage popular for sandwiches and
canapés. It comes in various sizes packed in plastic casings.
Liverwurst is highly perishable, should be kept well refrigerated and used
in less than a week. The photo sample by Gaiser's of New Jersey was
6-1/2 inches long, 2 inches in diameter and weighted 10 ounces. Pork,
pork liver, veal, calf's liver, onions, salt, dextrose, flavoring,
spices, hydrolyzed corn protein, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
[Linguica (Portugal); Longanisa, Longganisa longanissa,
What this is depends on what part of the Spanish / Portuguese speaking
world you are talking about. Even in the various regions of Spain it is
different. One thing certain is a close relationship to
Chorizo. In some areas the only difference is whether
they are twisted into short lengths or not - but there's no consistency.
It is generally made with about 1 pound of lean pork to 1/4 pound of pork
Similar to Mexican Chorizo, this sausage is a little
firmer and a lot longer. It can be sliced, though the slices will crumble
a bit when fried. It releases a fair amount of oil with a strong
red-orange color and is a bit spicier than most Mexican chorizo, The
photo sample, typical of commercial brands in Los Angeles, was 19 inches
long, 1.1 inches in diameter and weighed 9.6 ounces. Typically pork,
paprika, salt, vinegar, spices, red pepper, garlic, sodium nitrite, soy
"Longaniza" is used in the Philippines for what might be called
Chorizo in other Spanish speaking areas of the
world. It is generally made up into short links about 1-1/4 inch in
diameter and about 2 ounces each The photo samples were obtained from
Philippine markets in Los Angeles, one labeled "Native" (natural) and
the other labeled "Hot". This sausage is stripped of its casing and
crumbled for use.
"Ham cured" longaniza is a rather sweet pork sausage made in the
Philippines. In Southern California Philippine markets also sell
Chicken Hamonado sausages but I don't know if they make those in the
Philippines. This sausage is cooked whole or sliced rather than
crumbled. Photo specimen links are 4-1/2 inches long and weigh 2.1
A famous sausage made in the northern region of the Philippines from
pork or pork and beef, plenty of garlic, salt and the local
Ilocos vinegar. This sausage may be
cooked whole or stripped of its casing and crumbled. It is most often
fried. The photo specimens, obtained from a Philippine market in
Los Angeles, were about 3 inches long by 1.1 inches in diameter and
weighed about 1.3 ounces each. These sausages can be kept
refrigerated for about 6 days or frozen for up to a year.
This famous sausage made in the Vigan region of the northern
Philippines from pork, pork fat, garlic, salt, the local
Ilocos vinegar and soy sauce for
color. It is then hung up to dry for a while. It is fairly dry and
can be sliced rather than crumbled but still needs to be cooked.
It is often simmered in a pan with some water, until the water has
all evaporated, then fried in it's own fat until browned. Then it
is eaten with a dip of Iloco vinegar. The photo specimens were about
3 inches long by 1.1 inches in diameter and weighed about 1.3 ounces
each. These sausages can be kept refrigerated for about 6 days or
frozen for up to a year.
Real Italian Mortadella was illegal in the United States for 30 years,
the ban finally lifted in 2000. In the mean time, an imitation was
manufactured in North America. In Italy mortadella is air dried but in
the U.S. both imported and domestic "mortadella" had to go through
additional cooking steps making them basically just
Bologna with little lumps of pork fat and extra
garlic. While the real thing is now legal, the imitation will remain
dominant here due to price difference - and because that's what people
are used to.
A version of mortadella with embedded pistachio nuts was developed in
Germany, and American manufacturers followed suit. The photo specimen is
Colombia brand with and without pistachios, 5 inches in diameter, sliced
A fully cooked sausage similar to Moskovskaya but with
more garlic and pepper. It is
fairly soft and moderately spiced. The photo example, by
Eureka was 17 inches long, just over 1-1/2 inches in
diameter and weighed 1.23 pounds - 45 calories / ounce, 56% from fat.
Typically: pork, beef, sodium lactate, salt sodium phosphate, garlic, spices,
sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
This cooked smoked salami is a popular snack in Russia sliced into thin
rounds and is now made by a number of companies in the USA. It requires
refrigeration and should be eaten within a week of opening. The photo example
was 10 inches long, 2 inches in diameter and weighed 1 pound, made by
Eureka. Pork, beef, salt, spices, sodium
phosphate, sugar, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite. 45 calories per
ounce, 56% from fat.
This name translates to "Moscow Special" (not to be confused with Moskovskaya
Osobaya brand vodka). It's a cooked smoked salami similar to the regular
Moskovskaya but all pork instead of pork and beef and significantly stiffer
and drier. It needs to be refrigerated and eaten within a week
of opening. Typically: pork, salt, spices, sodium erythorbate, sodium
nitrite. The photo sample, 14 inches long, 1-3/4 inches in diameter and
weighing 1-1/4 pounds was made by Eureka.
This is just regular commercial Bologna with green olives
and red bell pepper embedded in it. The photo sample, Albertson's house brand,
is in the standard 4-1/4 inch American sliced sandwich meat format. Mechanically
separated chicken, water, corn syrup, pork, beef, modified food starch,
hydrolized soy protein, olives, red bell peppers (pickled), salt, flavoring,
dextrose, potassium lactate, sodium lactate, sodium phosphates, sodium
diacetate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite. 80 calories per slice, 63%
A hard. spicy, fermented American salami more or less in the style of southern
Italy (in Italy "pepperoni" is a bell pepper). While it can be eaten raw, this
imitation of the Italian salsiccia Napoletana piccante is the most
popular topping for American style pizzas and is used in other recipes. The
photo samples, Margherita brand (ConAgra Foods, Downers Grove, Illinois),
were 10 inches long, 1-3/8 inches in
diameter and weighed about 6-3/4 ounces each. Typically: pork, beef, salt,
dextrose, flavoring, lactic acid starter culture, paprika sodium nitrite,
spices, BHA, BHT, citric acid. 140 calories per ounce, 86% from fat. Keep
dry and refrigerated.
As far as I've found Bar M Packers is the only maker of "Penn Sausage" and
they make two varieties, "mild" and "hot". The mild still has a bit of
hotness to it and the hot is much hotter. 4-1/4 inches long, 1 inch diameter,
2-1/4 ounces each Pork, beef hearts, water, salt, corn syrup, flavorings,
dextrose, sodium phosphate, paprika, garlic, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite. 85 calories /
ounce 76% from fat. Keep refrigerated and use within a few days of breaking
the vacuum seal.
Polish Sausage - See Kielbasa
Why this sausage should be named after an obscure whistle stop on the
Trans Siberian Railway is beyond me, but it is a very good hard salami.
Diameter 1-3/4 inches, Pork, beef, ham 50 extra (modified cornstarch,
diphosphates, triphosphates, carregeenan, maltodxtrin, yeast extracts,
sodium L-ascorbate), sodium nitrite, paprika. Made by
Red Square Foods, 2014 US $7.99/pound.
A fully cooked and smoked Russian sausage similar to the
Moskovskaya but a bit closer to a dry salami in flavor.
The photo sample, by Eureka, was 9-1/2 inches long, 2
inches in diameter and
weighed 1 pound 2-1/2 ounces. Typically: pork, beef, sodium lactate, salt,
sodium phosphate, sugar, spices, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite - 45
calories per ounce, 56% from fat.
In Argentina "Salchicha" means "sausage" and Parrilla is a grill. This
sausage is made exactly the same as Argentine Chorizo, but is made in long
thin lengths rather than plump links. You can keep it in shape on the grill
by running a couple skewers through from side to side. The photo specimen,
by Special America's, was 3/4 inches diameter, weighed
8 ounces and was made in sheep casing. Pork, water, curing salt (salt, sugar,
dextrose, sodium nitrite), flavoring, spices, sodium erythorbate - 90
calories per ounce, 78% from fat.
[(Armenian), Soujouk (Armenian), Sucuk (Turk)]
A fermented dried beef sausage. It is said to derive from the pressed dried
and salted meat Turkic horsemen kept under their saddles to eat while invading
countries and slaughtering their peoples. This sausage is widely available in
Los Angeles due to its huge Armenian community (Armenians joke that
their country has two capitals, Yerevan and Glendale). Armenians and Turks
hate each other but share a common cuisine.
Shown are typical examples, traditionally flattened from
Eureka and round from Ohanyan's. The
round was 6 inches by 1-1/2 inch diameter, the flat was 8-1/2 inches by 1-1/2
inches by 0.8 inches but larger sizes are available. Spicing is typically
garlic, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and dried chili. A starter culture
is used for fermentation. In Turkey "tail fat" is added but fat tail sheep
aren't raised here. I notice Eureka uses "natural pork casings" clearly
targeting Armenian and Georgian Christians while excluding Muslims, but
Ohanyan's is sold in Turkish markets so must use sheep, veal or collagen
Eggs & Soujuk Sausage
Summer Sausage -
Basically an American cervelat, a family of mildly seasoned semi-soft salamis,
fermented, generally smoked and fully cooked. Commercially they are made from
pork or pork and beef or beef, but are a favorite with home sausage makers
who often make them with game meats. This "ready to eat" sausage is fairly
durable but should be kept refrigerated and eaten within 7 days or so of
breaking the vacuum pack. The photo sample, by
Hilshire Farm, was 13-1/2 inches long, 2-1/4 inches
diameter and weighed 2 pounds but they also make one 14 inches long, 2-3/4
inches diameter and 3 pounds. Beef and Pork, salt, natural spices, dextrose
lactic acid starter culture, flavorings, sodium ascorbate (vitamin C), Sodium
Nitrite; 95 calories per ounce, 79% from fat.
The photo sample, from Boca, was 5 inches long, 1 inch
in diameter and weighed 2.6 ounces. This "Italian Meatless Sausage" was
found in the vegi-burger section of the freezer case of a local upscale
market. Water, soy protein isolate, canola oil, textured soy protein
concentrate, egg whites, potato starch, salt, wheat gluten, spices, natural
flavor (non meat), sugar, washed raw sugar, malt extract, paprika, dried
garlic, sesame oil, beet powder (color) - 130 calories per link, 46% from
Appearance is clearly way off, texture is similar to a dry, almost
crumbly hot dog, and while the spicing includes plenty of
fennel, the base flavor is clearly soy. They brown well but do not
become plump and/or juicy. I do not fault this manufacturer,
who's product is as good as any I've tried, but point to the impossibility
of imitating the complex flavors and textures of meats.
Personally, I don't get the point - with tens of thousands of great
vegetarian recipes in the world why bother with imitations of
meat products that can't be imitated?
Literally "Ham Chopped" this Russian sausage consists of ham chopped into
largish pieces, mixed with some seasonings and preservatives, and
stuffed into a casing. Very ham-like in flavor. The example shown would be
about 14" long whole, and 2-1/4" in diameter. You can use this sausage
anywhere cooked ham is called for.
In the USA "Vienna Sausage" means these hideous things. Somewhat smaller than
a cocktail wiener they are fully cooked and almost always packed in cans.
Nearly devoid of flavor they are mushy straight from the can, but not nearly
as mushy as they'll be if you fry them. The only excuse for their existence
is the long shelf life of cans. The "Major Brand Name" samples in the photo
were 2-1/4 inch long, 3/4 inch in diameter and weighed just over 1/2 ounce
each. Mechanically separated chicken, chicken broth, water, beef, pork, salt,
sugar, spices, sodium erythorbate, flavorings, sodium nitrite, garlic powder
- 43 calories per link, 85% from fat.
Wieners - [Hot
dog, Franks, Weenies, Frankfurters (all USA); Wiener, Wiener
Würstchen (Germany); Frankfurt, Frankfurter Würstchen
The most popular sausage in America, but the Germans blame it on the
Austrians (Wien = Vienna) and the Austrians blame it on the Germans
(Frankfurt). The wiener very much resembles Bologna in
texture and flavor, but tends to be a bit more distinctly seasoned and may
be lightly smoked. Today it is usually made "skinless", cooked in a plastic
casing which is peeled off before packaging, but a few are still made with
natural casings. The weiner is thought to have been created in the late
1600s by German butcher Johann Georghehner, living in the town of Coburg. The
origin of the name "hot dog" is highly controversial but seems to have
appeared in the late 1800s.
In the U.S. these are made primarily of pork but may
also contain beef, chicken, turkey or any mix of those. All beef versions
are made for the kosher market and "more healthful" Turkey and chicken
versions as well. Vegetarian versions are also made, generally from TVP
(Textured Vegetable Protein) and various other chemically processed
ingredients. The photo samples are:
- Typical American wieners (front) by Farmer John
("No Fillers, No Byproducts"). Skinless, 4.8 inches long, 7/8 inch
diameter and 1-1/2 ounces - 140 calories, 86% from fat. Pork, mechanically
separated turkey, water, salt, corn syrup, natural flavorings, dextrose,
sugar, potassium lactate, sodium phosphates, beef, sodium erythorbate,
oleoresin, paprika, sodium nitrite.
- "European Style" (back) by European Meat Specialties.
Not skinless, 5 inches long, 1.1 inches diameter, 2-1/2 ounces. Pork,
water, nonfat dry milk, salt, spices, sodium phosphate, sodium nitrite,
- Cocktail Wieners (right) by Eureka, Skinless,
2-3/4 inches long, 7/8 inch diameter, 1 ounce each. Pork, water, salt,
nonfat dry milk, sodium phosphate, spices, sodium erythorbate, sodium
Of these the Farmer John are quite salty and have the strongest, but
also coarsest, flavor. The Eureka are more gently seasoned with a definite
tone of nutmeg and a lot less salt. The European are even more gently
seasoned. The Farmer John are easiest to fry or roast because they're very
straight but they end up a bit dry. The European are much plumper, lighter
and juicier with the casing helping to keep them moist. Cocktail wieners
aren't usually fried, but the Eureka fried up a bit puffier than the
Simmered, the coarseness of the Farmer John flavor was
more noticeable, as was the nutmeg tone of the Eureka. The European was
the most satisfactory in my opinion, but does tend to split open like
a knackwurst when simmered.
Zywiecka Kielbasa -
[Beer Sausage (US)]
This Sausage is named for the town of Zywiec in the south of Poland,
where the famous Zywiec brewery is located. The sausage is fairly dry,
a bit salty and spicy, and strongly smoked over hardwood. Yes, you will
want beer with this. The photo specimen, by
Belmont Sausage, was 7-1/4 inches long, 2-1/8 inch
diameter and weighed 13 ounces. Pork, beef, water, salt, sugar, garlic,
sodium lactate, seasoning mix (spices, salt, dextrose, msg, garlic,
garlic oil, paprika oleoresin) sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate,
sodium nitrite; 2013 US $8.99 / pound.
Health & Nutrition
Hardly anyone considers sausages to be health food, but they sure
taste good, and many people have survived eating them. Here in California,
the untimely death of George Johnson was recently noted (2006) in the
newspapers. There is little doubt an unvarying diet of sausages and
waffles contributed to his demise at age 112, but that's a risk some of
us are willing to take.
Salt: By nature, sausages are high in
salt, because salt is one of the important preservatives that keeps them
from spoiling. Sausages that can be kept at room temperature for some time
will be the saltiest. Despite the shrieking of the do-gooders, the
question of the danger level of salt is still wide open.
Fat: Sausages are high in fat. Fat acts as a
preservative and as a conveyance for most of the sausage's flavor. Because
they are made from animal products, sausages will be high in saturated
fats. The American Heart Association says saturated fats will kill you in
short order, but people who have adhered to the Atkins diet (very high in
saturated fats) have had no such problems. The worst artery clogger has
proven to be the trans fats the AHA had been trying to get us to eat
instead, for the past 50 years or so. The polyunsaturated fats they still
promote may not be much safer. Recent research shows that saturated fats
protect rat hearts from the ravages of canola oil. Of course fats can
make you fat, and obesity is a problem in North America, so apply
moderation. A fat being saturated doesn't seem to make that much
difference (except it's more resistant to rancidity and formation
Nitrites Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite
are very important to maintaining color in cured meat products like
sausages (during cure nitrates convert to nitrites) and also, in
combination with Sodium Chloride (salt) they are powerful inhibitors
of harmful bacteria. Despite the suspected possibility of danger to
humans, the FDA has not banned nitrites - because the alternative
(botulism) is considered a much greater danger, resulting in an
immediate and very uncomfortable death.
Nitrites have been shown to combine with amines in meat in the acid
environment of the stomach to form nitrosamines, which are thought to be
at least somewhat carcinogenic. The actual risk is entirely unknown at
this time, but it is known that ascorbic acid (vitamin C) can greatly
reduce nitrosamine formation, so you will find sausages that contain
nitrite will also contain ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate or sodium
erythorbate to supress nitrosamine formation.
It is known that many people who have eaten large amounts of sausages
and bacon and drunk plenty of beer for most of their lives have lived to
a ripe old age. Today's sausages, bacon and beer are far safer
(nitrosamine wise) than what elderly people would have consumed for most
of their lives. There have been a significant number of reported
cases of nitrite poisoning, mostly in children, but these nitrites were
all from vegetables, some of which are naturally very high in nitrites.
They were not from sausages.
- I1 - Sausage Information -
University of Wisconsin.
- I2 - Spanish Sausages -
La Tienda - A Common Sense Guide to Chorizo and Spanish Sausages.
- I3 - Nitrosamines -
Linus Pauling Institute Nitrosamines and Cancer.
- S2 - Eureka Sausage Co.
6835 Tujunga Ave, North Hollywood,
CA , 91605-6312 818-752-7880 - a specialist in Soviet sausages.
- S3 - Ohanyan's Bastirma & Soujouk Mfg Co.
3296 West Sussex Way, Fresno, CA 93722 - a specialist in Armenian / Turkish
sausages, nationally distributed but no Web site. Fresno was the original
Armenian community in California, now overshadowed by Glendale.
- S4 -
Farmer John - Clogherty Packing LLC, Los Angeles, CA 90058 - a
major brand for pork products in Southern California.
- S5 -
La Espanola Meats - 25020 Dobie Avenue, Harbor City,
California 90710, 1-310-539-0455
- S6 -
Hillshire Farm (Sara Lee) - Ohio, USA.
- S7 -
European Meat Specialties - 12926 Saticoy St. North Hollywood,
California - wholesale manufacturer with on-site retail deli.
- S8 - Continental Gourmet Sausage Co.,
6406 San Fernando Road, Gelendale CA 91201, 1-818-502-1447 - a wholesale /
retail German sausage maker with an on-site deli.
- S9 - Papa Cantella's
3341 E. 50th Street, Vernon, CA 90058, 800-727-2676, fax 323-581-4253.
- S10 -
Sausage Patties from Jimmy Dean (Sara Lee) - Ohio, USA -
company was actually started by Country & Western singer Jimmy Dean
and his brother Don.
- S11 -
Boca Foods Co.- (apparently in Florida, no address on Web site)
- meatless products.
- S12 - Sausage Factory, 5425 W. Pico Blvd, Los
Angeles, CA, 90019 - 323-935-2440 - retail meats, wholesale sausage.
- S13 -
Seltzer's / Palmyra Bologna Co. - Palmyra Pennsylvania 17078.
- S14 -
Kutztown Bologna Inc. - Lebanon, Pensylvania 17042.
- S15 -
Weaver's - Lebanon Pennsylvania 17042.
- S16 - Groezinger Provisions Inc. 1200 Seventh
Ave., Neptune NJ 07753, (732)775-3220.
- S17 -
Silva Sausage Company - San Jose CA, Portuguise Linguica, Spanish Chorizo.
- S18 - Gallo Foods,
San Lorenzo CA - Dry Salame and Pepperoni.
- S19 - Bar M Packers - Serve-Rite Meat Co.,
Los Angeles, CA 90065.
- S20 - Special
America'a BBQ Inc., Miami Florida 33142. 305-637-7377.
- S21 - Mikale's Meat Products, 12926 Saticoy Street,
North Hollywood, CA 91605.
- S22 -
Red Square Foods 62 Berry Street, Somerset NJ 08873
- S23 -
Belmont Sausage Co., 2201 Estes Ave, Elk Grove Village,
- S24 -
Harmony Farms, 2824 Foothill Blvd. La Crescenta, CA 91214,