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A sausage consists of ground meat and other animal parts, herbs and spices, and possibly other ingredients, generally packed in a casing (traditionally the intestines of the animal), and preserved in some way. Unfortunately, there is no consensus whether similar products that are not packed in casings, such as pâté, meatloaf, scrapple and head cheese should be considered sausages. Pieces of sausage—often not including casing—are a popular topping for pizza in the United States.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Classification of sausages
3 Types of sausage
4 See also
6 External links


Sausage is a natural outcome of efficient butchery. They put meat and animal parts that are edible, but not particularly appealing, such as organ meats or blood, to good use, and allow the preservation of meat that can not be consumed immediately. Hence, sausages are among the oldest of prepared foods.

It is often assumed that sausages were invented by the Sumerians in what is Iraq today, around 3000 BC. The Chinese sausage Lup Cheong, which consists of goat and lamb meat, is first mentioned in 589 BC. The Greek poet Homer mentions a kind of blood sausage in the Odyssey (book 20, verse 25), and his compatriot Epicharmus (ca. 550 BC - ca. 460 BC) wrote a comedy titled The Sausage. Evidence suggests that sausages were already popular both among the ancient Greeks and Romans.

During the reign of the Roman emperor Nero, sausages were associated with the Lupercalia festival. The early Catholic Church outlawed the Lupercalia Festival and made eating sausage a sin. For this reason, the Roman emperor Constantine banned the eating of sausages. Early in the 10th century, the Byzantine emperor Leo VI outlawed the production of blood sausages following cases of food poisoning. Incidentally, food poisoning was called sausage poisoning in Germany.

Traditionally, sausage casings were made of the intestines of animals. Today, however, natural casings are often replaced by collagen, cellulose or even plastic casings, especially in the case of industrially manufactured sausages. Additionally, luncheon meat (such as SPAM) and sausage meat are available in tins and jars, today.

The word sausage is derived from Old French saussiche, from the Latin word salsus, meaning salted. The word botulism is derived from the Latin word for sausage, botulus.

Classification of sausages

Sausages may be classified in any number of ways, for instance by the type of meat and other ingredients they contain, or by their consistency. The most popular classification is probably by type of preparation, but even this suffers from regional differences in opinion. In the English-speaking world, the following distinction between fresh sausages, cooked sausages and dry sausages seems to be more or less accepted:

Other countries, however, use different systems of classification. Germany, for instance, which boasts more than 1200 types of sausage, distinguishes raw, cooked and pre-cooked sausages:

Types of sausage

Every nation and every region has its characteristic sausages, using meats and other ingredients native to the region and employed in traditional dishes. Irish and English sausages, or bangers (so named for their tendency to explode during cooking if poorly made), for example, normally have a significant amount of rusk, or bread crumbs, and are less meaty than sausages from other countries. Bangers are also used to make toad in the hole. They are an essential part of a true Irish breakfast.

Sausages may be used as an entrée, in a sandwich (when in a bread roll, as a hot dog or even wrapped in a tortilla), or as an ingredient in other dishes, such as stews and casseroles. The sausage without its casings is served as sausage meat, which can be fried or used as a stuffing for poultry, or a wrapping for foods like Scotch eggs.

Vegetarian and vegan sausages are also available in some countries, or can be made from scratch. These may be made from tofu, nutss, pulses, soya protein, vegetables or any combination of similar ingredients that will hold together during cooking. These sausages, like most meat-replacement products, generally fall into two camps: some are shaped, colored, flavored, etc to replicate the taste and texture of meat as accuratly as possible; others rely on spices and vegetables to lend their natural flavour to the product and no attempt is made to imitate meat.

See also


"People who enjoy eating sausage and obey the law should not watch either being made" -
Otto von Bismarck

External links