Sausage originated from a long-standing method of preserving meat as a means to get the most out of animal parts that might otherwise be less than appetizing. Every country has dozens of sausage varieties made with meat, fat, and fillers; Germany alone has over 1200 varieties and it comes in many shapes, flavors, and forms.
Following is a partial list of major types:
Cooked sausages – fully cooked and usually poached. They need refrigeration and can be served hot or cold.
- Blood sausage (black pudding/boudin noir) – pig, cow, duck, goat, sheep blood cooked with meat, fat, potato, or other fillers.
- Bockwurst – ground veal and pork flavored with white pepper, paprika, chives, or parsley; may include milk and eggs.
- Bratwurst – pork or veal with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and lemon zest; usually served grilled.
- Hot dogs (frankfurters) – pork, beef, chicken or turkey seasoned with salt and paprika.
- Knockwurst (knackwurst) – ground veal, ground pork, beef, and/or garlic in hog casings.
- Morcilla – blood sausage, salted with rice or onion as filler.
- Weisswurst – white in color, minced veal and bacon and may be seasoned with parsley, lemon, mace, onions, ginger, or cardamom.
Cooked smoked sausages – cooked and then smoked, or slow cooked while smoking. They are served hot or cold, and need refrigeration.
- Braunschweiger – beef, veal, or pork liver, usually smoked.
- Kielbasa – lean pork with pepper, allspice, coriander, and garlic.
- Liverwurst – at least 30 percent pork liver mixed with other meats; black pepper, marjoram, allspice, thyme, mustard seed, or nutmeg; usually spreadable.
- Mettwurst – similar to liverwurst and ready to eat.
- Mortadella – heat-cured pork, seasonings may include black pepper, myrtle berries, nutmeg, pistachios, jalapenos, or olives.
Raw sausages – made from ground spiced meats, comes in bulk or link, and must be cooked before eating.
- Breakfast sausage – fresh, usually pork; beef, poultry, or vegetarian now available; often smoked, bulk or links.
- Merguez – beef or lamb stuffed in lamb casings flavored with harissa, sumac, fennel, and garlic.
- Mexican Chorizo – fresh pork with chiles, cinnamon, and oregano.
- Pork sausage – fresh pork ground with salt, sugar, pepper, sage; may be smoked.
Dry sausages – made from raw meats, cured, fermented, air-dried, and formed in a casing. They are eaten cold and when unsliced kept at cool room temperature.
- Guanciale – unsmoked bacon made with pig jowls and cheeks, and rubbed with salt, sugar, pepper, thyme, fennel, and sometimes garlic; aged for three weeks.
- Lap Cheong – sweet dried pork.
- Linguica – pork, smoked, garlic, spicy, must be cooked to serve.
- Pepperoni – pork, hard and chewy.
¢Salami – pork or beef, less commonly goose, venison, poultry, and, in Japan, shark.
- Spanish Chorizo – pork, pork fat, red pepper, smoked paprika, and salt.
- Teewurst – beef, pork, and bacon, smoked, mild and a little sour in flavor.
- Weisswurst or white sausage – veal sausage, served warm.
Do you have a favorite? We’d love to hear.