Sausage is a convenient food available in a great number of varieties and flavors. Sausages are an excellent source of high-quality protein, containing all the essential amino acids in appropriate amounts necessary for the growth, maintenance, and repair of body tissue. Sausage also provides significant amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The origin of meat processing is lost in antiquity but probably began when mankind learned that salt is an effective preservative. Sausage-making evolved as an effort to economize and preserve meat that could not be consumed fresh at slaughter. In sausage making, quality standards are maintained while using most parts of the animal carcass.
Good sausage makers are as discriminating about what goes into sausage as winemakers are about selecting grapes. The primary ingredients of sausage were the parts of the animal carcasses that could not be used in other ways. Today many primal parts are used in the production of sausage; however, the less tender cuts, organ meats, and even blood can be made delicious when ground, spiced and cased in a sausage making machine.
The procedure of stuffing meat into casings remains basically the same today, but sausage recipes have been greatly refined and sausage making has become a highly respected culinary art. Any product can be made from a wide range of raw materials exposed to rather extreme conditions of temperature and time schedules and be consumer acceptable.
Sausage grew in popularity and brought fame and fortune to many sausage makers and to various cities. Today more than 250 varieties are sold, and many of these can be traced back to the town and country of origin. The contemporary role of sausage fits conveniently into our modern lifestyles as an elegant appetizer for entertaining as well as the main course in “quick-and-easy” meals.