Friday, November 22, 2019

History of sausage

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.

It is often assumed that sausages were invented by the Sumerians in the region that is Iraq today, around 4000 BC. Reference to a cooked meat product stuffed in a goat stomach like a sausage was known in Babylon and described as a recipe in the world’s oldest cook book 3750 years ago.

The Chinese sausage Làcháng, which consists of goat and lamb meat, was first mentioned in 589 BC.

Homer referenced sausage in the Odyssey as one of the favorite foods of the Greeks. He gives in detail the slaughter of a heifer as part of a religious ceremony. The collection of the blood from the animal and the manner of slicing and roasting the meat reflects the importance the Greeks placed on animal products as food. The prize of a sausage was awarded Odysseus when he defeated the sturdy beggar Iros in a boxing match. The sausage was described as a type of black pudding, stuffed with blood and fat and sizzled on the hearth.

Epicharmus (ca. 550 BC - ca. 460 BC) wrote a comedy entitled “The Sausage”. Numerous books report that sausages were already popular among the ancient Greeks and Romans.

It is believed that sausages were brought to Britain by the Romans some time before 400 AD. Since then, various English counties have each had their own way of flavouring their local sausage – Lincolnshire favours fresh sage and Cheshire uses caraway and coriander.

The history of sausage is literally given by its name and many of today’s sausages derive their names from the city where they originated, such as Vienna, Frankfurt, Mettwurst, Genoa, Knoblanch, Bologna, Salami, and many others.

Nowadays there are numerous types of sausage casings including: Natural and artificial such as Collagen, Cellulose and Plastic. Collagen, Cellulose and plastic casings are relative newcomers to the artificial field, mainly born out of market demand during the technological maelstrom of the early twentieth century.

Today, the sausage manufacturing industry in the U.S. must adhere to government standards for ingredients and processing. In addition, accurate labeling requirements ensure that the consumer is informed of the ingredients in a sausage product. Regulations are more specific for several categories of sausage products, which have specific production processes and storage requirements.

History of sausage