A typical sausage consists of ground meat that's combined with fat, flavorings, and preservatives, and then stuffed into a casing and twisted at intervals to make links. Pork is most commonly used, but butchers also use beef, lamb, veal, turkey, chicken, or game, and some also use fillers like oatmeal and rice to stretch the meat a bit. Casings vary too--in addition to intestines or artificial casings, butchers sometimes use stomachs, feet, skins, or they do away with casings altogether and sell the sausage in bulk. After assembling a sausage, a butcher can either sell it as fresh sausage, or else cure, dry, or precook it in some way.
These eggplant-colored sausages are made of pig's blood mixed with fat, a filler like bread crumbs, and other flavorings that vary from region to region. They're usually sold precooked, but most people heat them before serving. Regional varieties include Germany's blutwurst, Louisiana's boudin rouge, and Spanish morcilla.Learn more
This is a pork sausage that's often added to pasta sauces. Varieties include sweet Italian sausage = mild Italian sausage, which is flavored with garlic and fennel seed, and hot Italian sausage, which also has a shake or two of crushed chile peppers. It's sold either as links or in bulk. Cook thoroughly before serving.Learn more
Landjager is a dried, smoked German sausage that needs no refrigeration. Its name comes from "lang tige," which means "smoked for a long time" and "jäger," which means hunter, and refers (one hopes) to it being a convenient snack for hunters to bring on their excursions. Landjager fills the same niche as the American Slim Jim, but it's chewier and less greasy. Look for thin flat sticks of it in German delis.Learn more