Sausage is a form of processed meat. Though sausage is considered to be a highly fatty food item it is eaten worldwide as a well-liked meat product. Basically, salt is added to preserve the meat and to process it in the form of sausages. The salt content is maintained to ensure that sausage should retain its flavor and shape. There are many types of sausages that vary in shape and sizes. Pork, beef or chicken meats are minced, processed and filled in a casing made with the animal intestine, though synthetic casing is also used. Sausage recipes are mainly served as snacks or side dishes. Various gravy dishes also include sausages. Some popular sausage recipes are sausage pizza, grilled sausages and sausage rolls.
History of Sausages
The history of sausages lies as far back as Greek and Roman times when it is used as a way of preserving meat. The term sausage is derived from a Latin word ‘salsus’ meaning ‘salted’.
Culinary Use of Sausage
Sausage made up of any kind of meat is highly demanded in culinary world. It makes a well-liked appetizer. Smoked, cured or dried sausages are widely used in making meat dishes. They can also be served as a topping on pizza. Sandwiches, rolls and burgers are fondly made with sausage filling. Other ingredients such as mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato increase the taste of sausage dishes. Sausages can also be added to pasta and noodle dishes. Grilled sausage and pickled sausages are eaten as a side dish with other meat and vegetable dishes. It is also a staple in European breakfast. Baked and stew dishes also include sausages its variations.
Popular Sausage Recipes
Sausage is a popular non-veg food item across the globe and some of the famous sausage recipes are listed below:
• Sweet and sour kielbasa – Kielbasa is a Polish sausage that is cooked with pineapple chunks.
• Macaroni and cheese with chicken sausage – The name of the recipe clearly mentions the main ingredients. It’s a popular Italian pasta dish.
• Sausage sandwich – It is one of the most common sausage recipes that are well-liked in almost all cuisines.
• Sausage casserole – It is a baked dish made with sausages and other ingredients.
Cuisines Commonly Making Sausage Dishes
Cuisines of UK and Ireland are famous for sausage recipes and it is a part of their national diet. Irish sausages use beef and pork meat. The traditional sausage dish in UK is ‘bangers and mash’ that contains boiled mashed potato with sausages. Flavored sausage made with minced pork is a traditional sausage recipe in Serbian and Croatian cuisine. This recipe is called Kulen; it includes paprika and garlic for extra flavor. In American cuisine, sausages are a main breakfast item made up of ground pork. Spices such as pepper are added to increase the flavor. Frankfurters and famous hot dogs are well-liked sausage recipes throughout America. Hungarian, German and French cuisines are also not far behind in making delectable sausage dishes.
Preferred Methods of Making Sausage Dishes
• Grilled – Sausages are widely cooked with grilling method. In this method the sausage gets cooked from outside with its juices intact inside.
• Fried – Usually, sausages are fried but without oil as they already contain some amount of oil while being processed.
• Baked – Sausage casserole dishes are cooked by baking method.
• Smoked – Smoked sausages are extensively served in international cuisine as a side dish as well as an appetizer.
• Boiled – Few sausage recipes call for boiled sausages such as soup and stews.
Nutritive Value of Sausages
Sausages are generally of less nutritional value than fresh meat. Some of the benefits of sausages and sausage dishes are as follows:
• Sausages are a good source of energy.
• Protein content is very high in sausage dishes.
• Herbs and seasonings used in sausages also have some nutrients.
Consumption Criteria of Sausages
Consumption of sausage dishes in excess is not recommended due to certain drawbacks. Here are some points that must be known before consuming sausages:
• Calorie content of sausages is very high and it contains 70% fat.
• Salt content is also very high.
• Preservatives, additives and flavorings are not good for health.
• It also contains nitrosamines that may cause certain type of cancers.
• Consumption of sausage dishes increases cholesterol levels.
Buying and Storing of Sausages
Sausages should be purchased by checking the ‘sell by’ date on the label. Consumption of food item after this date may cause health hazards. Sausages should be consumed on the day they are purchases as it is a highly perishable food item. Storage of sausages should be done with extra care. Sausage should be wrapped in its original packing and it should be stored in the coolest part of the refrigerator. Any type of sausage should be consumed with in 2-3 days after refrigeration. In order to keep the sausages fresh for a longer period of time, they can be frozen in a freezer.
Types of Sausages
Popular varieties of sausages are listed below:
• Frankfurters – This is a cooked type of sausage popularly known as hot dog.
• Dried sausage – This type of sausages contain cured, smoked and dried meat of pork or beef.
• Salami – It is also a variety of sausages that is usually smoked and sold in round slices.
• Italian sausage – It includes coarse pork meat with fennel and spice flavoring.
• Pepperoni – This variety is lightly spiced with pepper and mainly used as a pizza topping.
• Liver sausage – It contains ground liver of pork seasoned with spices.
• Queen Victoria liked sausages very much but preferred to have sausages with chopped meat rather than minced.
• Sausages are eaten mostly on Saturdays as compared to other days.