Sausages are one of the world’s most traditional meat products and come in lots of different sizes. They are known by many names; from snags (Australia) to bangers (UK) but they are always a similar shape.
What are sausages?
What are sausages and why do we call them sausages? The word ‘sausage’ actually comes from the Latin word “salsus”, meaning salt, which refers to the process of preserving meat by adding salt to it.
What part of the pig is sausage?
More expensive sausages are made using prime cuts like topside and brisket, whereas cheaper sausages are made from trimmings. To bulk them up and give them their unique flavours, sausages often contain fillers such as breadcrumbs, as well as herbs and spices.
Some cheaper sausages may also contain filler known as sausage meal, usually made of wheat or rice flour. Water is then added to the sausage and absorbed by the meal, which helps to increase the weight of the sausage. So with cheaper sausages, you're basically paying for water. However, the more water you add, the more preservatives you need to add as well.
And of course, adding water to sausages means you are also diluting the flavour so afterwards you need to add it back in.
Dextrose (a refined sweetener) and hydrolysed vegetable protein made from maize are commonly used as enhancers and fillers to make the meat go further and taste more.
What are sausage casings made of?
Natural sausages casings are the original and often considered to be the tastiest type of sausage casing. But once the demand for sausages outgrew the amount of natural casings available, alternatives like edible collagen casings derived from cow and pig hides entered the market. These are mostly used for cheaper end sausages and sausages made from other meats (such as beef or chicken).