Sausage Mix Sausages & Salamis
Sausages are basically animal parts chopped or ground up, mixed with seasonings and stuffed into the animal's intestine (or reasonable facsimile). They may then be cooked, cured, smoked, dried or aged. Sausages were originally a method of preserving meat with fat, dryness and salt. Today they are made in bewildering variety for their unique flavors. For easy navigation, use the Country index on the side bar.

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General & History

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 and/or smoking, but some are cooked. Some called sausages are air dried, cured, salted, and/or smoked and eaten uncooked as well.

Some General Terms

Sausages come in three general categories, which have to be handled quite differently.

  • Fresh:   [Chorizo Fresco, etc.]   These sausages are made up of raw ingredients and usually of a fairly loose texture. They must be kept well refrigerated and cooked within a few days, even fewer if they contain blood, before eating.
  • Semi-cured:   These sausages are generally partially dried and may contain more salt (a preservative) than Fresh Sausages, but still must be refrigerated and cooked before eating. They will keep longer refrigerated than Fresh Sausages.
  • Fully Dry Cured:   These sausages are relatively firm, dry and salty. Many can be stored at room temperature for short periods, but are better refrigerated. They are often just sliced and eaten as appetizers or the like, usually at room temperature, with no cooking required.
  • Fully Cooked:   These are sausages that have been cooked as part of their production. This cooking may be done as part of a hot smoking process, or separately. These sausages can be eaten without cooking, but need to be kept refrigerated. They are less perishable than Fresh sausages, perhaps even a week or two, and sometimes three, depending. Some vacuum packed varieties will keep refrigerated much longer, until their vacuum seal is broken.

Religious Considerations

Jews and Muslims must avoid pork in any form (including sausage casings from pigs). Both also may not consume blood, so blood sausages are not on their menus. Fully observant Jews must buy their meat and sausages from a kosher butcher, and observant Muslims from a halal butcher, to assure the animals have been slaughtered and butchered in conformance with specified ritual and methods. Kosher meat must be salted (that's what kosher salt is for) to remove all traces of blood.

Casings

Casings 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.

Authenticity

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 keeping pace.

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 came 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.

Mustard

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 Mustard.


Varieties

We have re-organized this page to place sausages in a country of origin context. If you want to find a sausage by name, use the search engine. Most of the sausages listed are made in North America, but accurately reflect those from the country of origin. Most of the sausage makers "came from there", and our huge ethnic populations keep them honest. We have made no attempt to track down exotic sausages - all listed here were conveniently available in Los Angeles, California.

America - North

This region, mostly Christian with a temperate climate, is home to a very wide range of ethnic cultures from all over the world. Nearly all the sausages on this page were made in North America, but here we list only ones that are unique to the continent or far removed from their ethnic origin.


Andouille - (Fully Cooked)
Sausages 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.

Bologna - (Fully Cooked)
Slices Properly pronounced "baloney", this is an American imitation of the Italian Mortadella (also adopted by Russia under the name Doctorskaya Kielbasa). 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. Link to NutritionData.

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) GMO 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 Cyrillic). 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 (whatever that might be), sodium phosphate, autolyzed yeast, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, dextrose, extractives of paprika, potassium phosphate, sugar, potassium chloride.

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 or in "fireman's badge" form, 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.

Boudin Blanc - (Fresh)   -   [Louisiana; also Boudin Rouge]
Long Sausage

I have placed Boudin Blanc here rather than under France because it is made differently in Louisiana. In Cajun and Creole cooking the word "boudin" always means Boudin Blank, unless otherwise specified. In France it is made of pork, with heart and liver often included, and milk. In Louisiana it is always made with pork and rice. The equivalent to France's Boudin Noir (Blood Sausage) is Boudin Rouge, which is Boudin Blanc with pig blood added.   Photo by Southern Foodways Alliance (cropped), distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v2.0 Generic.

Breakfast Links - (Fresh)
Sausages 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.

Chub Sausage - (Fresh)   -   [Chub Sausage, Country Pork Sausage]
Sausages

This is 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. It is usually a simple pork "breakfast" sausage. A version flavored with sage is often used in turkey stuffings and similar applications.

The photo specimen, 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.

Danger Dog - (Fresh - or Vendor cooked)   -   [Tijuana Bacon Dog]
Danger Dogs 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 original.

Hot Dogs - (Fresh)   -   [Franks, Wieners, Weenies, Frankfurters]
Sausage

The most popular sausage in North America, it is the American version of the German Wiener. The origin of the name "hot dog" is highly controversial but seems to have appeared in the late 1800s. The hot dog 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.

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 are also made, as well as Vegetarian versions, generally from TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) and various other chemically processed ingredients.

In the photo, the specimens in the front are typical American hot dogs (the others are European style Wieners). The American, by Farmer John were skinless, 4.8 inches long, 7/8 inch diameter and 1-1/2 ounces each - 140 calories - 86% from fat. Claiming "No Fillers, No Byproducts", they were made from: pork, mechanically separated turkey, water, salt, corn syrup, natural flavorings, dextrose, sugar, potassium lactate, sodium phosphates, beef, sodium erythorbate, oleoresin, paprika, sodium nitrite.

Compared to the European style, the Farmer John are quite salty and had a stronger, coarsest flavor. They were easier to fry or roast because they're very straight and skinless, but they end up a bit dry. The European are much plumper, lighter and juicier with casing helping to keep them moist. Simmered, the coarseness of the Farmer John flavor was more noticeable, but, unlike the European, they don't tend to split open.

Jersey Breakfast Dog - (Vendor cooked)
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 - (Semi Cured)   -   [Taylor Ham (obsolete, not a US approved name)]
Jersey Pork Roll

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 common (though now illegal) alternative name 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.

Kielbasa - U.S. (Fully Cooked)   -   [Polish Sausage, Keilbasa]
Sausages

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.

In Poland they would be made from better cuts of pork and veal, and they are made that way here by specialty sausage makers, but the big meat packers may use pork, beef, chicken, turkey or whatever they have a lot of offcuts from or need to use up. Link to NutritionData.

Lebanon Bologna - (Fully Cooked)
Slices

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 specimen, 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.

Olive Loaf - (Fully Cooked)
Slices

This is just regular commercial Bologna with green Spanish 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% from fat.

Penn Sausage - (Fresh)
Penn Sausage 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.

Pepperoni - (Fully Cured)
Pepperoni 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 specimens, 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.

Summer Sausage - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Cervelat, Thuringer (USA); Blockwurst, Plockwurst (Germany)]
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. This sausage is sometimes called "Thuringer" but is very different from real German Thuringer.

Vienna Sausage - (Fully Cooked)
Sausages? 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.


America - Latin

While Mexico is technically part of North America, in culinary matters it is much closer to Central and South America, so we include it here. These regions have been under intense Spanish and Portuguese influence - which is not to say their sausages bear much resemblance to Spanish and Portuguese sausages of the same names.


Chorizo, Mexican - (Fresh)
Chorizo This ia a version of Chorizo Fresco, but is not at all interchangeable with any form of Spanish sausage, regardless of the name. It is heavily spiced with chilis rather than lightly spiced with paprika. Commercially, 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". The photo specimens, "store made" from a multi-ethnic market in Los Angeles, contained no lymph nodes or salivary glands.

Buy:   Purchase 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 fat - not disintegrating into mush swimming in a pool of bright orange fat. It is quite red in color but only moderately hot. It is perishable; keep refrigerated and use in less than a week.

Chorizo, Salvadoran Paisano - (Fresh)
Chorizo This Salvadoran peasant style chorizo is currently quite popular here in Southern California. Strips of corn husk tie off the links, which have more internal integrity than the Mexican chorizo. It can be sliced before frying if desired, but can still be crumbled easily. It doesn't bleed as 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 fat 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.

Chorizo, Argentine - (Fresh)
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 heavily as with Mexican chorizo. For a long thin version see Salchicha Parrillera. Subst: fresh bratwurst will work.

Longaniza, Mexican - (Fresh)
Sausages Similar to Mexican Chorizo, this sausage is not interchangeable with sausages called "longaniza" from any other region. This sausage is a little firmer and a lot longer than Mexican chorizo. It can be sliced, though the slices will crumble a bit when fried. It releases a fair amount of fat with a strong red-orange color, and is a bit spicier than most Mexican chorizo, The photo specimen, 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 flour.

Salchicha Parrillera - (Fresh)
Curled Sausage 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.


Asia - China

China has a long history of making sausages, pretty much always from pork and in the same narrow format.


Chinese Sausages - (Fully Cured)   -   [lap cheong (China)]
Sausages

Chinese sausages are thin, wrinkled, rather dry, rather sweet pork sausages traditionally packaged in pairs. They are usually used as an ingredient in recipes. The FDA requires packages to be marked "to be cooked before serving". I doubt this message is universally obeyed. I know I've eaten plenty of them uncooked, but only ones made in USA. 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, if any, are imported. Asians around here don't much trust foods made in China - they like their sausages unleaded. 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 per link, 79% from fat. They are generally sold in vacuum packages and will keep, refrigerated, a long time that way, but once opened should be used in a week or so. Typically: pork, pork fat, sugar, soy sauce, salt, grain alcohol, sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate.


Asia - Vietnam

Long controlled by France, Vietnam has adopted a significant amount of European food culture, but interpreted in a uniquely Vietnamese way. Given the huge Vietnamese community that has gathered in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California since the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese products are now produced here.


Gio-Bi Sausage - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Cooked Cured Pork Roll]
Cut Sausage Roll

This is a typical Vietnamese pork roll sausage, 2-3/4 inches diameter and weighing 13 ounces. They very much like to include pig skin, though this one has less of it than some Vietnamese sausages. I like these because I also rather like the firm gelatinous texture of pork skins. Made by Great River Food in California. Pork, pork skin, potato starch, water, fish sauce, cornstarch, sugar, monosodium glutamate, modified tapioca starch, salt, baking powder, sodium tripolyphosphate, garlic, pepper, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.

Nem Chua - (Semi-Cured)   -   [Nam Sausage]
Two Sausages

This small sausage has a firm, slightly gelatinous texture due to pork skin included. It is fairly garlicky with a distinct chili taste, but very little heat. It needs to be cooked before consumption and is probably used as an ingredient in stir fries and the like. The photo specimens were 4-1/8 inches long and 1.2 inches diameter, weighing 2 ounces each. Made by Great River Food in California. Pork, pork rinds, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, garlic, potato starch, baking powder, sodium tripolyphosphate, pepper, chili, glucono delta lactone, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.

Thit Doi Heo - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Cooked Cured Pork Roll]
Cut Sausage Roll

This Pork Roll is quite typical of Vietnamese sausages. They very much like to include pig skin, and in this case the sausage not only includes it, it's wrapped in it. I like these because I do like the firm gelatinous texture of pork skins, and this one has plenty. The photo specimen was 2-3/4 inches diameter and weighed 13 ounces. Made by Gai Phat Food Co. Pork, pork skin, potato starch, water, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, dried onion, black pepper, pepper powder, sodium erythorbate, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium nitrite.


Asia - Philippines

Filipinos are very fond of sausages, and any Philippine market here in Southern California is very well stocked with freshly made varieties. While I'm sure the Filipinos use some Chinese sausages, most of their sausages are of Spanish decent, but interpreted in an entirely Philippine way. In particular, the name Longanisa is used for sausages that would be called Chorizo Fresco in Spain.


Chorizo de Bilbao - (Semi Cured)   -   [(Spain - Basque)]
Sausage

This cooking chorizo is very popular in the Philippines, and all the Philippine markets have it in the freezer cases. It's hard for me to say how much Philippine Bilbao differs from the Basque original, because the brands the markets have are all made in USA. It is mildly spicy and works well in soups and stews, holding its shape well in wet cooking. When fried, it exudes a lot of fat, so you'll probably need to pour some off if, say, making sausage & eggs. 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.

Hotdogs, Philippine - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Hotsilog (Tagalog)]
Red Hotdogs

In the Philippines, hotdogs are usually bright red, and spelled without a space. Street vendors always serve them with Banana Ketchup, making them unacceptably sweet to most non-Filipinos. Some recommend demanding mustard instead, even though the vendor will look at you like you're some sort of idiot. Some vendors string the jumbo sized ones on a bamboo skewer and cut them in a spiral, stretching them out a little so they cook evenly. A marshmallow is often added to one end, or both ends, of the skewer. They are a major ingredient in the very popular Philippine Spaghetti, also served with an unacceptably sweet sauce made from ground pork and beef, tomato sauce, banana ketchup and coarsely chopped red hotdogs.

The photo specimens were from a large Philippine market in Los Angeles (Eagle Rock, actually). They had a distinct note of nutmeg in the flavor. The red color is traditionally from annato, but most makers now use red food coloring. These are skinless and fry brown very quickly. The photo specimens were "Jumbo" size, 1 inch diameter and 6 inches long, weighing 2.6 ounces each; regular size, 3/4 inch diamter and 4-1/2 inches long, weighing 1.2 ounces each; "Cocktail" size, 5/8 inch diamter, 2 inches long, weighing 0.36 ounce each. The two larger sizes were 2014 US $3.99 / pound and the Cocktail size at $4.99 / pound. Beef, pork, water, modified food starch, dextrose, soy sauce powder, sodium erythorbate, paprika oleoresin, sodium nitrite, FD&C Red #40.

Longanisa, Philippine - (Fresh)
Sausages "Longaniza" in the Philippines is not similar to Longaniza in Spain - it would be called Chorizo Fresco in other Spanish speaking regions 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 usually stripped of its casing and crumbled for use.

Longanisa Hamonado - (Semi Cured)
Sausages "Ham cured" longaniza is a rather uniquely flavored sweet, smoked 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. It exudes rather little fat and stays quite firm with wet cooking, so can be used in soups and stews. The photo specimen links were 4-1/2 inches long and weigh 2.1 ounces each, purchased from a Philippine market in Los Angeles (Eagle Rock, actually), 2014 US $3.49 / pound.

Longanisa Ilocano - (Fresh)
Cut and Whole Sausages This famous sausage is 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 often pierced well with a fork, then simmered in a pan with water to almost cover, until the water has all evaporated, then it fries in it's own fat until browned. The photo specimens, obtained from a Philippine market in Los Angeles (Eagle Rock, actually), 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.

Longaniza Vigan - (Fresh)
Sausages This famous sausage is 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 pierced well with a fork, then simmered in a pan with water to almost cover, until the water has all evaporated, then it fries in it's own fat until browned. It is eaten with a dip of Iloco vinegar. The photo specimens, obtained from a Philippine market in Los Angeles (Eagle Rock, actually), 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.


Europe - Baltic Countries

While not widely seen here in Southern California, yet, sausages from the Baltic Countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) are beginning to appear as trade with that region increases.


Estonian Salami - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Estonska (Russia)]
Sausage

This is a fully 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.

Lithuanian Salami - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Litovskaya (Russia)]
Cut Sausage

This is a fully cooked, ready to eat, rather soft salami with a crumbly texture. It is enjoyed as a daily item in sandwiches, or with cheese, vegetables and whatever. It is subtly spiced with pepper, but has a very distinct hardwood smoke. It needs to be kept refrigerated and should be eaten within a week of opening the vacuum pack. The photo specimen, by Gurman, was 2 inches in diameter, 7 inches long and weighed 12 ounces, 2015 US $8.19 / pound. Pork, water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphate, monosodium glutamate, spices, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.


Europe - British Isles

The English, being of largely Germanic descent, are fond of sausages. They enjoy various German style sausages, so we list here only ones specific to the British Isles.


Banger - (Fresh)   -   [England]
Sausages 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. The sausages were made with extra water and filler to stretch ingredients, and 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 specimens, 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.

Black Pudding - (Fresh)   -   [England, Ireland, Scotland; Marag dubh (Scot)]
Sausage

This blood sausage is made in the British Isles from pork, pork fat, onions, oatmeal, flavorings and blood (usually pig blood). It is widely use throughout the region, particularly for breakfast. Blood sausages are very perishable, should be kept well refrigerated and used immediately.   Photo by O'Dea at Wikimedia Commons (cropped), distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v3.0 Unported, attribution required.

White Pudding - (Fresh)   -   [Ireland, Scotland (Mealy Pudding), Northumberland, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland]
Sausage

This sausage is is made from pork, pork fat, bread and oatmeal. In Ireland it is often served for breakfast along with slices of Black Pudding. In Scotland it isn't always in the form of a sausage.   Photo by O'Dea at Wikimedia Commons (cropped), distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v3.0 Unported, attribution required.

Haggis - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Scotland]
Whole Sausage

This is the national dish of Scotland, often served with great ceremony. It is a sheep stomach stuffed with chopped sheep lungs, heart and liver, mixed with onions, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, moistened with stock. It is usually simmered for about 3 hours before serving. It is usually accompanied by "neeps and tatties" (turnips and potatoes separately mashed) and scotch whisky. It is generally thought to have originated in Scotland, but it's remotely possible the Scots could have learned it from the Romans. Commercial Haggis is usually made in a regular sausage casing rather than as sheep's stomach.

I have a book in which the author says the worst haggis he ever tasted was in Italy, but does not blame it on Italy, because the best haggis he ever tasted was at a restaurant nearby. The proprietor of that restaurant said he learned to make it from the cook of a British destroyer, at the end of World War II.   Photo by Kaihsu Tai (cropped), distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v3.0 Unported.


Europe - France

France is famous for the art of Charcuterie, the turning of pigs into a myriad cured forms, including sausages. I have few examples because Southern California is just not a French oriented region. Italians, Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Germans, Spanish, Filipinos, Chinese, Vietnamese, Armenians, Georgians, Iranians and whatever have you, but French? Non.


Boudin Noir   -   [France, Belgium]
Slices of Sausage

This blood sausage is very popular in France and Belgium. It is made of pork and pork blood stuffed into a pork casing. In France, Boudin Blanc is the same thing but without the blood, but in Louisiana it is made with pork and rice. Boudin Rouge is the Louisiana equivalent of French Boudin Noir.   Photo by Roberto Verzo distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v3.0 Unported.

Head Cheese - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Brawn (England); Fromage de Tête (France)]
Thick Slice

This large sausage is made of various parts of the pig head (tongue, snout, etc. but not ears) and sometimes other parts of the pig, chopped into large chunks and suspended in a clear pork jelly. This is one of my favorites, but some people may not like being able to see exactly what it is they're eating. It is made in most pig eating regions, but I list it under France because all the recipes I have are from there.


Europe - Germany

Germany has always been the world center for sausages, and butchers were held in higher esteem than doctors, but the trade has been shrinking rapidly since World War II. Young Germans shop at supermarkets and don't know the difference between real sausages and bland shrink-wrapped supermarket imitations. Soon fine sausage making there will thrive as a smaller artisan trade like it does here in North America, catering to sophisticated tastes.


Blutwurst - (Fresh)   -   [German]
Sausage 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 specimens, 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.

Bratwurst - (Fresh)   -   [Liberty Sausage (U.S. during WWI)]
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.


Cooked Bratwurst - (Fully Cooked)
Sausage 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, monsodium glutimate.

Fresh Bratwurst - (Fresh)
Sausage 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 specimens, 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.

Cheddarwurst - (Fresh)
Cheddarwurst 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.

Nuremberger Bratwurst - (Fresh)   -   [Nürnberger Rostbratwurst (Germany)]
Sausage

This German pork sausage is thinner and more intensely spiced (usually including fresh marjoram) than most versions of bratwurst, and it has more texture than some. The photo specimen from Continental Gourmet Sausage Co. was 8 inches long by 0.95 inches in diameter and weighed 3-1/4 ounces. In Germany they are thinner and more like 3 to 3-1/2 inches long, weighing a little less than an ounce, and are EU PGI protected to Nürnberger

Smoked Bratwurst - (Fully Cooked)
Sausage 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.


Bockwurst - (Fresh or Fully Cooked)
Bokwurst

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. Its 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. The photo specimen (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 fat.

Braunschweiger - (Fully Cooked)
Sausages 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. Link to NutritionData

Holsteiner Mettwurst - (Fully Cooked)
Salami

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 weighing 9 ounces. The whole link would have been about 9 inches long. Made somewhere in North America.

Jägdwurst - (Fully cooked)
Cut Sausage Literally "Hunting Sausage", this is a German cooked sausage made of pork, beef, pork belly and water, variously spiced. Part of the meat is very finely ground while part of it is left coarsely ground or in chunks. Most makers use chunks smaller than shown in the photo. Fat content for Jagdwurst is usually around 20%.

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. The photo specimen, made by Schreiners Fine Sausages, was 2 inches diameter, cut from a stick about 18 inches long.

Knackwurst - (Fully cooked)   -   [Knockwurst]
Sausages 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. Link to NutritionData.

Landjäeger - (Fully cured, semi-dried)   -   [Gendarm (Alsace); Gendarme (French)]
Cut Sausage

This sausage is a popular snack in Southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Alsace. The name is apparently a distortion of the words for "long smoked" into the word for gamekeeper or mounted police. This sausage is traditionally half beef and half pork, though horse meat is sometimes used in Austria. It is usually pressed into a somewhat rectangular cross section.

It can be kept unrefrigerated for some time so, is popular with hunters and hikers, and was formerly carried by soldiers. The photo specimen, made by Schreiners Fine Sausages, was 6 inches long by 1-3/8 wide and 5/8 inch thick, weighing 2.9 ounces. Ingred: Beef, Salt, Spices, Caraway seeds, Sodium Nitrite. Caraway and Paprika were quite evident in the spicing. 2015 US $9.49 / pound.

Leberwurst - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Liverwurst (English)]
Sausage

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. Link to NutritionData.

Thüringer Rostbrater   (Fresh)   -   [PGI Thuringia]
Sausages Roasting

This sausage is made in Thuringia under EU PGI laws, so is not much seen in North America. I publish it here because of possible confusion with American Summer Sausage / Cervelat which is sometimes called "Thuringer", but is quite different. The German sausage, called Roster for short, is a fresh sausage to be grilled or roasted and is made from chopped pork, beef (sometimes veal), salt pepper, caraway seed, marjoram, and garlic. It is low in fat, about 25%, contrasting with up to 60% for other German sausages. At least 51% of the ingredients must come from Thuringia.   Photo by Matthias at the German language Wikipedia (cropped), distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v3.0, attribution required.

Weisswurst - (Fully cooked)   -   [Weißwurst (German); Weißwuascht (Bavarian)]
Whole & Cut Sausages

This is a sausage of Bavaira, traditionally made before dawn and served before noon - because before refrigeration it would have spoiled before evening. In Bavaria it is still eaten mostly before noon. It is usually made of veal and pork back bacon, distinctively seasoned with various mixes of parsley, lemon, mace, onions, ginger, and cardamom.

Traditionally, this sausage is poached, not boiled, for about 10 minutes, then served in a bowl of the hot water it was cooked in, along with a special sweet mustard (Weißwurstsenf) and a soft pretzel or the like. The least offensive way of eating it is to split it lengthwise, then roll the meat off the skin with a fork. OK, you wanted to know, so the more offensive way is to cut the ends open and suck the meat out of the skin. This is mercifully impossible here. Processed to FDA and USDA regulations they are a ittle too firm. The photo specimens, made by Schreiners Fine Sausages, were 4-3/4 inches long by 1-1/8 diameter, weighing 2-3/4 ounces, cooked and vacuum packed on the day sold: 2015 US $5.89 / pound.

Wieners - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Wiener, Wiener Würstchen (Germany); Frankfurt, Frankfurter Würstchen (Austria)]
Sausage

The Germans blame this sausage on the Austrians (Wien = Vienna) and the Austrians blame it on the Germans (Frankfurt). It is the prototype on which the American Hot Dog is based. The weiner is thought to have been created in the late 1600s by German butcher Johann Georghehner, living in the town of Coburg, now in northern Bavaria, about 94 miles east of Frankfurt.

The photo specimens include a European Style Weiner (back) by European Meat Specialties. It is not skinless, 5 inches long, 1.1 inches diameter, 2-1/2 ounces. Pork, water, nonfat dry milk, salt, spices, sodium phosphate, sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate. To the right are Cocktail Wieners 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 nitrite. In the front is a typical American Hot Dog for comparison.

The typical European Wiener is plumper, jucier, smoother in texture and more gently seasoned than the typical American hot dog, with a lot less salt, and usually some nutmeg. The European wieners are more prone to splitting open than the hot dog when long simmered.


Europe - Hungary & Romania


Csabai Szálami - (Fully Cured)
Cut Sausage Named for the town of Csaba in Hungary, this is a moderately spicy sausage, fairly dry and usually just sliced and eaten as an appetizer. The photo specimen (Hungarian Brand by Bende) was 6 inches long, 2.2 inches in diameter and weighed 1 pound. Pork, salt, Hungarian paprika, spices, sugar/dextrose ascorbic acid (vitamin C), lactic acid starter culture, sodium nitrite.

Gyulai Kolbasz - (Fully Cured)
Cut Sausage This Hungarian sausage is named for the town of Gyula. it is a 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 is usually just sliced and eaten as an appetizer. The photo specimen (Hungarian Brand by Bende) 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.

Sibiu Salami - (Fully Cured)   -   [Salam de Iarna (Romanian = "winter sausage")]
Cut Sausage

This hard salami originated in the Romanian town of Sinaia, created around 1910 by an Italian bricklayer (and sausage enthusiast). It is fairly dry and fairly hard, with a flavor similar to Italian dry salami but slightly different. Called "winter sausage" in Romania, it got widely known as "Sibiu" from an Austro-Hungarian export customs stamp. The photo specimen (Romanian Brand by Bende) was 7-1/2 inches long, 1-1/8 inches in diameter and weighed 13 ounces, 2015 US $10.99 / pound. Pork, salt, spices, dextrose, ascorbic acid, lactic acid starter culture, sodium nitrite.

Teli Szálami - (Fully Cured)
Cut Sausage Teli means winter in Hungary, the season when this sausage was traditionally made. It is a lightly spicy sausage, fairly dry and usually just sliced and eaten as an appetizer. The photo specimen (Hungarian Brand by Bende) was 6 inches long, 2.2 inches in diameter and weighed 1 pound. Pork, salt, spices, sugar, dextrose, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), acetic acid starter culture, sodium nitrite.


Europe - Iberia

Spain and Portugal produce many sausages unique to the region. They have spread sausage making and the names of their sausages to the Americas and Philippines, but the names are attached to very different sausages in those regions.


Butifarra - (Fully Cooked)   -   [(Spain)   |   smaller, Butifarrita]
Cut Sausage

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. There is also a blood sausage version called Butifarra Negra. 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.

Chorizio de Bilbao - (Semi-Cured)   -   [(Spain - Basque)]
Sausage

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 - (Semi-Cured)   -   [(Spain)]
2 Sausages

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 Cantimpalo - (Fully Dry Cured)   -   [Spain]
Sausage

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.

Chorizo Palacios - (Fully Dry Cured)   -   [Spain]
Sausage

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, España.

Fuet - (Fully Dry Cured)   -   [Spain]
Sausages 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 Española 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.

Longaniza / Linguiça - (Fresh)   -   [Longaniza (Spain); Linguiça (Portugal)]
Linguica

Longaniza and Linguiça (Pronounced ling-GWEE-sah), are very similar, but both vary significantly from region to region. Neither is at all similar to sausages under the same names anywhere else in the Spanish / Portuguese world. The version of Linguiça 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, sodium nitrite. Longaniza is usually made with 1 pound of lean pork to 1/4 pound of pork fat.

Morcilla - (Fresh)   -   [Spain; Morcelas (Portugal) ]
Sausage

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 Española Meats. Blood sausages are very perishable, should be kept well refrigerated and used immediately.

Morcilla de Arroz - (Fresh)   -   [Spain]
Sausage 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 Morcilla de Cebola, 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 Española Meats. Blood sausages are very perishable, should be kept well refrigerated and used immediately.


Europe - Italy


Capicolla   -   [Capricolla (incorrect)]
Capicolla

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 inch diameter.

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.

Cotto Salami - (Fully Cooked)
Slices 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.

Genoa Salami - (Fully Dry Cured)   -   [Italy; Italian Dry Salami]
Italian Sausage 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.

Italian Sausage - (Fresh)   -   [Italy]
Italian Sausage 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 in Los Angeles (Glendale, actually). 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.

Mortadella - (Air Cured)
Slices 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 for sandwiches.


Europe - Poland

Polish Sausage has been adopted in a major way here in North America.


Kabanos - (Fully Cooked)   -   [(Polish), Cabanos, Hunter's Sausage, Kabanosy (plural)]
Sausages

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.

Kaszanka - (Fresh)   -   [Kishka; Grüzwurst (German)]
Cut Sausage

This type of sausage is very popular in Poland, Hungary and Germany. It is generally a blood sausage, including pork liver, lungs, skin and fat, along with buckwheat (or sometimes barley or rice), onion, black pepper and marjoram. It is most commonly cooked with onions and served with potatoes and sauerkraut.   Photo by Mariuszjbie distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v3.0 Unported, attribution required.

Kielbasa   -   [(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".

Krakow Salami - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Krakovskaya Salami (Russia)]
Sausage

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.

Zywiecka Kielbasa - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Beer Sausage (US)]
Smoked Sausage

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.


Europe - Russia

Here in Southern California we have many sausage makers churning out sausage specialties of Russia.


Cervelat - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Summer Sausage, Thuringer (USA); Blockwurst, Plockwurst (Germany)]
Sausage

"Cervelat" is used for radically different sausages depending on region. The photo specimen, by Sausage Factory in Los Angeles, was labeled "Cervelat" and subtitled "Russian Brand Smoked Sausage". This type is made in some regions of Europe and is very similar to an American Summer Sausage, but "Cervelat" is much different in Switzerland and nearby regions of France and Germany. The photo specimen 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 casing.

Doctorskaya Kolbasa - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Doctorskaya Balogna, Baby Bologna]
cut Sausage

A Russian version of Bologna. It is called "Doctor's" and "Baby" from its 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 Cyrillic. 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.

Kubanskaya Kolbasa - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Russia]
Cut Sausage

The name means "from Kuban", the home of the Kuban Cossaks. It is on the mainland just east of the Crimean Peninsula and is currently part of Russia. It is a fairly mild, fairly finely ground cervelat style sausage. The photo specimen, made by Russian sausage specialist Gurman Foods, was 2 inches in diameter and 6 inches long, weighing a shade over 3/4 pound, 2014 US $8.19 / pound. Pork, water, salt, spices, sugar, garlic, monosodium glutamate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.

Moldavskaya - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Moldavian]
Sausage

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.

Moskovskaya - (Fully Cooked)
Sausage 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 specimen 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.

Moskovskaya Osobaya - (Fully Cooked)
Sausage

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.

Vetchina Rubleyana - (Fully Cooked)
Sausage

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.

Posolskaya Salami - (Fully Cooked)
Sausage

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, carrageenan, maltodxtrin, yeast extracts, sodium L-ascorbate), sodium nitrite, paprika. Made by Red Square Foods, 2014 US $7.99/pound.

Rostovskaya Salami - (Fully Cooked)
Sausage 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.


Europe - Switzerland

With regions speaking French, German and Italian, Switzerland has a wide selection of sausages - but one variety of Cervelat is the national sausage.


Cervelat - (Fresh)   -   [Cervelat (France, German Swiss); Cervelas (French Swiss); Servelat (Italian Swiss)]
Roasted Sausage

This sausage isn't much seen in Southern California, but I publish it here due to possible confusion with Cervelats made in North America, Russia and other parts of Europe, which are very different. This type is made in Switzerland, where it is considered the national sausage. It is also made in adjacent Alsace and Lyon, France, and some adjacent parts of Germany. The photo shows a sausage cut in the traditional Swiss manner. It is made from very finely ground beef, pork, bacon, pork rind, and ice, seasoned with spices. The texture is similar to a European wiener and the flavor is also similar but smokier. The name implies the sausage contains brains, but it hasn't included those since the late 19th century.   Photo by Schofför (cropped), distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v3.0.


Europe - Anatolia and Caucasus

This region is comprised of Turkey, Armenia, Georgian and Azerbaijan. Yes, I get complaints for lumping Armenia in with Turkey, and if any Azerbaijanis read my site I'd get complaints for lumping them in with Armenia, but the cuisines of the region are very consistent, even if the politics are not.


Basturma - (Fully Dry Cured)
Basturma 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 loin 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 specimen, 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 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 everywhere. 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 regions the word represents a recipe for marinated lamb or beef grilled on skewers, not sausage-like at all.

Giumry - (Fully Cooked)
Giumry 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 inches in diameter and weighing 1-1/4 pounds. Pork, beef, sodium lactate, salt, garlic, sodium phosphate, sugar, spices, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate.

Kupaty - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Georgian Style Sausage]
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.

Soujuk   (Fully Dry Cured)   -   [(Armenian), Soujouk (Armenian), Sucuk (Turk)]
Soujuk

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 casings.

Yerevan Salami - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Armenia?]
Sausage

This sausage was labeled "Erevanskaya", which 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 specimen 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.


Europe - Jewish

Because of their religious restrictions, Jews cannot eat most sausages, and fully observant Jews can only eat meat from a certified kosher source.


Beef Salami, Kosher - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Jewish]
Cut Sausage

This is a typical Kosher Beef Salami, 2.4 inches diameter, from Sinai Kosher Foods of Chicago. Beef, water, corn syrup, salt, potassium lactate, natural flavors, dextrose, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate, extracts of paprika.

Kishka - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Kishke, Stuffed Derma; Jewish]
Cut Sausage

Traditionally, this is a cow intestine stuffed with matzo meal and/or flour, along with schmaltz (rendered chicken or goose fat), onions and spices. It is intended to replace the Kishka of Eastern Europe, which is most often a blood sausage, thus forbidden to jews.   Photo by stu_spivack (cropped), distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v2.0 Generic.


Vegetarian Sausages

Many vegetarians miss the flavors, textures and aromas of their former carnivorous lives, and try to find meat analogs to satisfy that craving - generally not that successfully. Back in 2013, a vegan group mounted a big protest at a Bacon Festival. Almost no-one showed up - they probably were afraid the smell of bacon would break them of their veganism.


Italian Meatless Sausage - (Fresh)
Sausages 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 an upscale market in Los Angeles. 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 fat. Not vegan, nor gluten free (many vegetarian meat analogs depend on a lot of wheat gluten).

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?


Africa - North

This region is primarily Muslim, so pork sausages are out of the question. Lamb predominates, due to the poor grazing land in the region.


Lamb Sausage, Moroccan - (Fresh)
Sausage The photo specimens, 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.


Africa - Central

Sub-Saharan Africa is predominantly Black, Christian or Animist, and Tropical. We do not yet have any information on sausages in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Africa - South

South Africa was dominated by Europeans for hundreds of years. Most of the Europeans have now moved elsewhere, but the culture and cuisine remains much more European than in the rest of Africa.


Boerewors - (Fresh)
Coiled Sausage 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.



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 of carcinogens).

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 suppress 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.

Links

  • 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 91605, (818) 982-2325 - 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 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 Salame, 2411 Baumann Ave. San Lorenzo, CA 94580, 800-988-6464 - 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 732-846-0190
  • S23 - Belmont Sausage Co., 2201 Estes Ave, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007.
  • S24 - Harmony Farms, 2824 Foothill Blvd. La Crescenta, CA 91214, 818-248-3068.
  • S25 - Bende Inc, 925 Corporate Woods Pkwy, Vernon Hills, IL 60061, 847-913-0306
  • S26 - Sinai Kosher Foods Corp, 1000 West Pershing Rd, Chicago, IL 60609, 773-650-6339
  • S27 - Great River Food City of Industry, CA 91746, 626-968-6917
  • S28 - Gai Phat Food Co. 9550 Bolsa Ave, Ste 123,Westminster, CA 92683 714-775-7437
  • S29 - Gurman Foods - 518 Lunt Ave Schaumburg, IL 60193, 847-895-1100
  • S30 - Schreiner's Fine Sausages 3417 Ocean View Blvd. Glendale, CA 91208 - 818-244-4735
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