Creating a new type of sausage or developing an existing classic is multidimensional. Sausage experts can experiment with different shapes and thickness of sausage. They can also test out different combinations of seasoning and smoking. This can lead to differences in colour and appearance. Other methods include working with coarsely ground meat or trying different amounts of meat.
One common misconception is that a high meat content automatically makes a good sausage. Like chocolate, it isn't always the cocoa content that determines the flavour. One example is Sibylla's famous wiener. When it was developed, meat contents between 60–85 percent were tested. Taste tests revealed that a meat content of 74 percent produced by far the most tasty sausage.
Traditionally, sausage production is associated with tenacious rumours of a sausage's dubious content. As a result, the serious part of the sausage industry has become extra thorough with their ingredients and unusually transparent when it comes to both sausage production and information about a sausage's contents and nutritional values.
The basic sausage ingredient is meat, primarily from beef, horse or pig. In addition, fatty pork, meat by-products and dried ingredients such as potato flour, rye flour, milk powder, milk proteins, herbs and salt are used. Any extras that have been added serve different purposes such as for colouring and as antioxidants.
When the most common type of sausage – hot smoked – is made, the ingredients are ground together and mixed with water to form a smooth mixture. The fat and the water emulsify and mix together, thanks to the molecular structure of the meat protein.
The mixture is then stuffed into sausage skins, followed by heat treatment in a smoker. The process for cold smoking sausages is considerably longer than for hot smoking as cold smoking takes place alongside a slow dehydration of the product.
Stuffing sausages isn't as difficult as it might sound. The basic principle is the same for all types of sausage production – the sausage mixture is stuffed into a sausage skin and then sealed.
Essentially, you can make your own sausages using a sharp knife, a chopping board and a funnel. It is of course easier if you have a meat grinder and a sausage stuffer kit.
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