Do you love sausage? If so, then you probably know a good bit about it and are excited when you can cook it at home for your family. You might be familiar with different types of sausage offered at the store. You might have experimented with different ways of cooking sausage. You probably even have a favorite kind of sausage and a favorite way to prepare it.
But just how much do you know about your favorite food? How many types of sausage have you sampled? Have you limited yourself to only trying the sausage from one country or from one “sausage family?” If so, you’re missing out on a world of possibilities.
Every country has a unique sausage tradition and puts their own twist on the classic meat. Even within single countries, there is a huge amount of diversity and slightly different variations of sausage. We’re willing to bet that even if you consider yourself highly educated on the topic, there are a few styles out there that you’ve never even heard of — much less tried.
Today, we’re going to take a whirlwind tour of the world through the study of sausage. We’ll look at different sausage dishes from around the world, where they come from, how they originated and how they are still used today. By the time we’re finished, you’ll have traveled the world without ever leaving your chair, and you might also be hungry for some great sausage in your own kitchen!
Learn more about the different types of sausage around the world:
- Chorizo (Spain)
- Italian Sausage
- Chorizo (Mexico)
- Sai Ua
- Cajun Sausage
- Breakfast Sausage
Types of Sausage From Europe
Some of the most famous sausages in the world are European sausage, such as those from Germany, France and the UK. These sausages are popular for good reason, as they’re delicious, versatile and are easy to use in a variety of dishes. You’ve probably tried your fair share of British or German sausages. While these sausages are certainly worth mentioning, there are also quite a few other sausages from Europe you might not be as familiar with.
1. Andouille — France
This French sausage is immensely popular and has several different forms that, while they’re similar and share the same roots, may end up tasting quite a bit different. The sausage has its origins in Andouillette. This original type of sausage was, and remains, highly coarse-grained and extremely pungent. It’s most commonly made from pork intestines or chitterlings, although veal can sometimes be used as well. Today, traditional Andouillette is still eaten in France, although it’s rarely seen outside the country’s borders.
To the uninitiated, Andouillette may seem a bit overpowering, especially due to its strong and distinctive smell. But to those who have grown up with it, the smell and the taste alike are all part of the charm of this French delicacy.
The version of this sausage that’s most well-known outside the borders of France is Andouille. This variety was imported to North America by French immigrants, who first settled in Canada and eventually found their way south to Louisiana. Here in the American south, Andouille firmly took root and became a staple of Cajun cooking.
Southern Andouille has a much different taste than traditional Andouillette. It’s typically smoked, heavily spiced and is usually made from ground pork, onions and multiple spices. In Cajun cooking, it’s prized for its heavy smoky flavor and its spiciness.
Today, Andouille plays an important part of Cajun dishes like jambalaya and gumbo. You can also use it as a breakfast sausage, where it tastes especially delicious alongside other breakfast foods like grits and eggs. It’s also easily thrown into pasta dishes, spicy pies and Mexican dishes.
If you enjoy cooking some of these Cajun-style dishes and are interested in trying Andouille, you can easily do that by picking up some of this sausage at a Premio distributor near you.
2. Bratwurst — Germany
In some circles, you might hear this term employed as just another generic synonym for sausage or even for hot dogs. However, the truth is that it’s actually its own subset of sausage that has its own origins, history and legacy in today’s cooking.
This sausage originated in Germany, where its name comes from an Old High German phrase that combines the words “brat,” meaning finely chopped meat, and “wurst,” meaning sausage. It was invented hundreds of years ago as a way to use up the parts of pork that didn’t seem to have many other uses. It became popular and led to the creation of many similar types of sausages in Germany because it was such an efficient way to use every part of pork.
There is a good explanation why Germany became a hot spot for sausage making instead of the Mediterranean-bordering countries of southern Europe. In these countries, food tended to be more plentiful, and the weather was milder, which meant that there was much less need to smoke or cure sausage to last through the cold winter months. In Germany, these means of preparing meat helped provide food that would last the winter.
Today, Bratwurst has come a long way from its origin. It’s popular around the world and you can make it in many different ways, with many different choice pieces of meat. Pork tops the list of ingredient choices, but you can make it with veal or beef, and it usually also includes a generous helping of seasoning and spices, such as pepper, nutmeg and sage. It can also be grilled, steamed, broiled or cooked however else you like it, and can be eaten by itself or as an ingredient in many dishes.
Premio’s bratwurst is a delicious version of this traditional German sausage and you can try it for yourself today. Taste it by itself or cooked in a recipe and see which one you like better!
3. Chorizo — Spain
Spanish Chorizo is not to be confused with Mexican Chorizo. The two types of sausage share the same name and are distantly related, but they’re so different they can effectively be considered entirely separate entities. As such, we’ll look at them separately.
Spanish Chorizo came about after the Spanish began exploring the Americas. While pork, the base ingredient of chorizo, was commonly used in Spain and curing meat was a common practice, one ingredient was missing. This was paprika, the vital ingredient in chorizo. A combination of chili peppers found only in the Americas make paprika. When people began bringing the peppers back across the Atlantic, they were included with cured pork, and Spanish chorizo was created.
Spanish Chorizo remains popular today and exists in a huge variety of regional styles and flavors. It’s still typically made from pork, although there are also beef and pork styles (pork mentioned twice). Other ingredients usually include:
- White wine
The mix is put into casings, fermented and then smoked. The purpose of the smoking is to not only preserve the meat but also to add a delicious smoky flavor. As a final step, the sausage is then air cured for several weeks before it’s ready to eat.
Because most Spanish chorizo has been cured or smoked, it doesn’t need to be cooked before eating, although it can be. Many types of this tasty sausage are perfect for slicing and eating plain as an appetizer or snack. Other varieties are great for adding a little smoky flavor to soups and stews.
4. Italian Sausage— Italy
Italian Sausage is one of the more popular sausage varieties available, but its origins in Italy are actually different than the typical Italian Sausage that you may know and love. This type of food is called Salsiccia in Italy and is made of meats that have been seasoned heavily with chili and other hot ingredients that are allowed to soak and change the flavor of the meets overnight. These are more common in Europe compared with what is typically available in supermarkets in the US.
The more common Italian sausage that Americans know and love is a pork sausage with a fennel and anise mixture as a base seasoning. Premio makes it’s Italian version in a sweet, mild, and hot flavor profile to suit a wide variety of tastes and recipes. The mix is put into casings and delivered with a unique blend of sweet basil to turn the flavor into a sweeter taste. Finally, there is a required level of fat in order to cook with the sausage and keep them flavorful and moist when they are used in cooking your meal.
The purpose of the Italian sausage in America is to be grilled, roasted, or used as a centerpiece of a sausage-based meal, and therefore the flavor profile of sweet, hot, or other Italian varieties that Premio makes is able to dramatically transform the entire direction of a meal. There are some great recipes based on fresh Italian sausage such as this one for Grilled Italians Sausage with Sweet & Sour Peppers & Onions. Try it our today!
Types of Sausage From Central and South America
If you’ve only ever tasted the most traditional European sausages, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn a whole world of sausages come from South America. While conceptually South American sausages are similar to their relatives around the world, you’ll find that they also have a unique flavor and style all their own.
1. Chorizo — Mexico
Mexican chorizo has a few similarities with its European counterpart, but it ultimately stands on its own as an entirely different type of sausage. Like Spanish chorizo, however, it didn’t exist before the collision of the New World and the Old.
When Spanish explorers first made contact with the Americas, they brought with them domesticated pigs. With the sudden availability of pork, as well as the variety of chili peppers already abundantly available, Mexican chorizo was developed.
Modern Mexican chorizo is made from raw, fresh pork. Usually, cooks add extra pork fat to the mix as well as a hearty blend of herbs and spices, chili peppers and vinegar. This mix is then put into casings and aged with air, drying for up to a week.
Unlike Spanish chorizo, Mexican chorizo must be cooked before eating, because it’s made from raw meat and is neither smoked nor cured. To cook it, you would typically remove it from its casing and fry it up in a skillet, breaking it into smaller chunks with a fork as it cooks. Once this sausage is cooked, people rarely eat it on its own. Instead, they use it as an ingredient in dishes ranging from scrambled eggs to refried beans and more. Its strong and spicy flavor makes it a great way to add a dash of spice to any recipe.
If you’re curious about this deliciously spicy sausage, you can try some by picking up a package at your local Premio distributor.
2. Longaniza — Argentina
Originating in Argentina, this type of sausage remains popular there as well as in neighboring Uruguay. Longaniza is an unusually long pork sausage typically cured and dried during the preparation process. Whereas chorizo relies on paprika to achieve its distinctive flavor, Longaniza uses ground anise seeds.
The anise seeds give Longaniza an extremely particular and distinct smell, as well as a mildly sweet taste, as opposed to some of its spicier South American counterparts. This sweet taste of the anise seeds provides a tasty and unusual contrast to the salty taste of the pork itself.
Today, Longaniza is rarely cooked, either by itself or as an ingredient in a dish. Instead, it’s a popular appetizer and is also frequently used as sandwich meat.
Types of Sausage From Asia
That’s right- there are popular sausages in Asia as well. And if you’re going to be a true sausage connoisseur, you should try them. Here are just a few of the most popular varieties you might encounter on your virtual sausage tour of Asia.
1. Sai Ua — Thailand
This type of sausage traditionally hails from northern Thailand, but its popularity has since spread, making it a common dish throughout the rest of the country as well. Its name comes from a combination of the Thai words “sai,” meaning intestine, and “ua,” meaning stuffed.
Although there are a great many regional varieties of sai ua, it usually consists of minced pork flavored with red curry paste and herbs. People often grill it before eating and serve it with sticky rice, as a part of starter course or an appetizer to a meal.
Traditionally, families cooked and ate this dish at home. In modern times, however, its popularity has led it to become available in shops and restaurants as well.
2. Longganisa — Philippines
If you think that this name sounds familiar, you’re not wrong. It probably reminds you of the Longaniza that we discussed in Argentina. It’s no coincidence these two types of sausage names sound so similar, as they are both products of the Spanish colonizing influence. But while the two sausages have a similar point of origin, they developed in such different geographic regions that they have since become total separate entities.
In the Philippines, longganisa simply refers to sausage flavored with indigenous spices. This means in every region of the country, there are slightly different variations of this sausage. Almost all are made from pork, beef or chicken, though you can use tuna as well. Most longganisa contains Prague powder, and each variety is typically sold fresh instead of smoked. This is largely where the similarities between them end, however.
Lucban Longganisa, for example, is heavily flavored with garlic. Guagua Longganisa has a strong taste that’s so salty it’s almost sour. Longganisa hamonado, on the other hand, has a distinctly sweet taste. These are just a few examples of the wide variety that exists among this one subset of sausage.
Types of Sausage From the Pacific Islands
This part of the world is almost certainly not the first place we would think of in a conversation on sausage origins. Nevertheless, these parts of the world developed their own unique take on sausage as well. And as you might expect, they’re a bit different than some of the more familiar European or even South American styles. Try them for yourself and see what you think.
Laulau — Hawaii
This is a traditional native Hawaiian dish that has its roots far back in history. Traditionally, the dish was prepared by taking pork and a few pieces of fish, and wrapping them in luau leaves. This was then placed in an underground oven, known as an imu. Hot rocks were placed on the dish, which would be buried for a few hours to cook. After the designated several-hour period, it would be ready to eat.
The modern preparation is slightly different but still just as delicious. Today, the dish typically consists of salted butterfish, taro leaves and your choice of pork, beef or chicken. Instead of an underground oven, it’s usually steamed on the stove. People often serve it as a lunch dish with sides of macaroni salad and rice.
TYPES OF AMERICAN SAUSAGE
Sausage has been and remains an important staple in American diets. Many American stores and restaurants offer their own spin on sausage varieties from other parts of the world, but there are a few types of sausage that are distinctly American. The two most popular types are:
1. Cajun Sausage
Cajun sausage is a smoked pork sausage that offers an American spin on the French Andouille sausage. The Cajun variety differs in that it is made with shoulder meat, wine, pepper, garlic and onions and is spicier overall. Cajun sausage is typically used in jambalaya dishes, which is a Southern-style dish. It is particularly popular in the state of Louisiana, where the culture is heavily influenced by French roots.
For a high-quality, authentic cajun sausage, try our Premio cajun sausage.
2. Breakfast Sausage
Breakfast sausage is an American pork sausage. It originated with farmers who used as much of their livestock as possible, and it became an affordable breakfast option. Breakfast sausage usually comes in link or patty form. The link form is similar to English sausage, but American sausage tends to be sweeter while English sausage is more savory. In general, breakfast sausage contains a heavy amount of seasoning, but is not as spicy as other American varieties.
Shop Delicious Sausage Flavors From Premio Today
Did you know that in addition to selling delicious sausage flavors and styles like Italian, chicken, turkey and more, Premio sausage also sells world flavors? That way, you can sample some incredible tastes from around the world without ever having to buy a plane ticket.
Interested in trying Andouille? We’ve got that. What about Mexican Chorizo? Bratwurst? We’ve got those, too. We even supply some styles and flavors that we didn’t mention here, but they’re just as tasty and equally worth checking out. Shop our entire selection of world flavors today and sample them all.
Not sure where you can find Premio sausage in store? Use our handy store locator to find the Premio distributor nearest to you to try out these great sausage options from around the globe.