Sausages were invented out of necessity thousands of years ago, when every piece of butchered meat was used and preserved by smoking and curing. They are very tasty and are usually made from ground meat (often pork, beef or poultry) along with salt, spices and other flavorings. Other ingredients, such as flakes or breadcrumbs, may be included as fillers or fillers.

Portuguese sausages

Known here as salsicha, they are an integral part of Portuguese cuisine, and in Portugal it is difficult to find a meat dish without at least one type of sausage: feijoada (bean stew) or soups such as calda verde. My favorite is the Portuguese churiço, a spicy, smoked sausage that is fully cooked and ready to eat, delicious with cheese and crusty bread as an appetizer.

The variety is limitless and is produced throughout the country, but mainly in the north (in the areas of Vila Real and Bragança, usually called Tras os Montes) and in the southern region of the country, Alentejo, which includes the areas of Évora, Beja and Portalegre.

Wurst Germany

Can you tell the difference between a nackwurst and a leberwurst? With so many German sausages to choose from, which sausage is right for you? The most popular is the sausage, made from pork, beef and a variety of spices, and is usually grilled and served with a bun and sweet German mustard, or cooked in beer and served with potatoes and red cabbage.

Italian sausages

Even so, you’re spoiled for choice, but here’s a strange sausage. Mazzafegato, also called crazy sausage, is made from the lower parts of a pig, such as the liver, tongue, tail, heart, spleen, lungs and various meat scraps, coarsely minced and seasoned with salt, pepper, chili pepper, garlic, fennel flowers, lemon zest and orange

There is also a sweet variety, enriched with raisins, pine nuts, cinnamon, sugar and red wine, which is grilled or oven-baked with aromatic herbs. It has a strong flavor that pairs well with rich breads and strong red wines.

Great Britain

In the UK, a tasty and satisfying meal comes mainly from pork sausages, traditionally served with mashed potatoes, in a humble sausage pie or in a “toad in the hole” – a distinctive dish in which batter is poured over the sausages and baked. Although they are prepared in many other countries, “blood sausage” is probably the most famous and distinctive type of regional sausage in the United Kingdom and Ireland, made from pig or beef blood with the addition of beef fat or lard, as well as some kind of flake. .

A quality sausage should contain about 80% meat, depending on whether it is pork, beef or other meat mixtures. Pork sausage is usually made from shoulder, belly or leg meat.

Vegetarian versions

Common base ingredients for successful vegetarian sausage recipes include chickpeas, lentils and tofu. They tend to be lower in fat, but that doesn’t mean all vegetarian sausages are healthy: many of the best vegetable sausages taste incredibly similar to the real thing. However, vegan sausages are likely to contain significantly less saturated fat, making them an overall healthier option.

Sausage skins

Now you can start writhing. Traditionally, natural sausage casings are made from the submucosa of an animal’s small intestine, a layer of the intestine made primarily of natural collagen. In Western Europe and Chinese cuisine, most intestines came from pigs, but elsewhere the intestines of sheep, goats, cattle and sometimes even horses were used. Today, commercial sausages are made in synthetic casings, most commonly introduced in the early 20th century, of collagen and cellulose. The material is then shaped through a continuous extrusion process that produces a single casing of undetermined length, which is then filled and rolled or cut into lengths of specified length once filled by the sausage maker. Most sausages you buy have an edible casing; those that don’t, such as dried sausages or deli meats, are wrapped in plastic or collagen that is thick enough to be easily removed.


Marilyn writes regularly for Portugal Newsand lived in the Algarve for several years. A dog lover, she has lived in Ireland, the UK, Bermuda and the Isle of Man.

Marilyn Sheridan