Around the world in sausages and franks

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What’s in a sausage? Whether in South Africa, Chile, or Great Britain, the sausage tells of a region’s culture by the way they prepare this delicious meat. Illustration by ELLE SHIVERS

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Who doesn’t enjoy a good sausage? Whether in the German Oktoberfest or in Vigan’s Longganisa Festival, the meat — fresh, smoked, cured, or grilled — is a celebrated foodstuff, making its way into the annals of world history. The many varieties in Europe alone, which has made its way all over the globe, are witness to the evolution of different cuisines as well as their similarities. The chorizo, for example, is king of cured meats in Spain (along with the jamon), but is also enjoyed in Mexico, Chile, and other parts of Latin America in its many varieties.

In fact, when one thinks of sausages, lines blur. Whether it’s Hungarian sausage or a Swiss schublig, what is consistent is the flavored ground meat inside its casing or eaten loose. The rest — the multitude of spices, the method of cooking, the way it is eaten — is a matter of culture.

Here in the Philippines, we love our local sausage, the longganisa, as a breakfast staple. But European style sausages are as ubiquitous as their native counterparts. In the local deli, one can find high-quality, premium meats, such as the Purefoods Deli Hungarian cheese sausage, the Swiss schublig, and the German bockwurst. There’s also a wide selection of franks (or frankfurters, a kind of sausage that also originated in Germany), such as the Purefoods Deli German franks, cheese franks, angus beef franks, spicy pepper beef franks, and turkey franks. These products are easily available so Filipinos can enjoy European-style sausages and franks anytime and anywhere in the Philippines.

For those with discerning taste, Purefoods Deli offers convenient, ready to serve, and quality options that are true to the sausage’s origins. But for those who crave a bit more, here are some other sausages worth trying around the world.

Inline_EUROPE_AFRICA.jpg Illustration by ELLE SHIVERS

EUROPE AND AFRICA

South African sausage (boerewors)

The boerewors (literally “farmer’s sausage” in Afrikaans) is a celebrated part of South African cuisine. The boerewors is typically made of beef, lamb, and pork, with coriander seeds, black and white pepper, ground cloves, nutmeg powder, and salt. It appears in long spirals of sausage links, which is said to aid in its cooking and in the retention of its natural flavors, making it one of the most succulent and fully-seasoned sausages in the world.

The boerewors' taste is reminiscent of flavorful minced meat or meatballs. It is one of the highlights of braai, the festive South American barbecue, where friends and family gather round to grill meat over a fire. In Cape Town, Sept. 24 is, in fact, National Braii Day, when boerewors is aplenty.

English sausage (saveloy)

Similar in appearance to a frankfurter or a hotdog, the saveloy usually comes ready-to-eat, highly seasoned (with ginger, sage, paprika, mace, or cardamom), and smoked or boiled. The name is a derivative of the Latin “cerebellum” (brains): the saveloy was said to have been made from pig’s brains once. Now it’s just pork, albeit processed and found in chip shops all over the U.K. and in parts of Australia. It tastes similar to a frankfurter, as in one of Purefoods Deli’s array of delectable German franks.

Sausages and Franks 3 (Revised v2).jpg From left: German Cheese Franks, Schublig, and Spicy Beef Franks. All from Purefoods Deli. Photos by MIGUEL NACIANCENO

German sausage (wurst)

It is said that there are around 1,200 dizzying varieties of sausage in Germany, a country defined by its long history with beer and wurst (the local name for sausage). Here, sausage differs from region to region, with each staking a claim to the country’s culture and history. The most visible is the frankfurter, placed in a bun and sold all over Germany’s streets. Then there’s the bratwurst, fresh sausage links made from either pork or veal — which should be differentiated from the bockwurst, which is made more from veal than pork, seasoned with salt, white pepper, and paprika, and sometimes with green onions, leeks, and chives. The list goes on, but one thing is consistent: their intense smoky, salty flavors and their distinct bite.

Nowhere is the comprehensive array of Germany’s sausage varieties more at display than at the German Oktoberfest. In fact, the German Oktoberfest is incomplete without beer and wurst. In the Philippines, Purefoods Deli offers a variety of choices — from the bockwurst, schublig, to franks — to liven up our own version of Oktoberfest.

Inline_ASIA.jpg Illustration by ELLE SHIVERS

ASIA

Chinese sausage (lap cheong)

The Cantonese lap cheong translates directly to dry sausage, and usually appears in markets hanging in narrow, shriveled links made of pork meat and distinct marbled fat, typically prepared with rice or rose wine, sugar, salt, and soy sauce. It can be eaten fresh or cooked, usually with dimsum and rice, and is a staple of Asian cuisine. What sets it apart is its sweet flavor and emulsified texture, making it a good addition to other dishes inasmuch as it can be eaten alone.

Japanese sausage (kamaboko)

As it is with Japanese cuisine, to make kamaboko (a type of fish sausage) is a careful art, practiced only by artisans. The best kamaboko is made of hand cut fresh fish and clear groundwater from Mt. Fuji, cut into semi-cylindrical shapes and often added to soups, noodles, and other dishes in Japanese cuisine, enhancing other dishes with its crab-like taste. A type of surimi (literally “ground meat”), different variants are sold at Asian supermarkets, some ready to eat and some served for special occasions, such as the konbumaki kamaboko (rolled with kelp) for the Japanese new year.

Turkish sausage (sucuk)

The sucuk is an air-dried beef sausage, notorious for being spicy as it is kneaded with salt, sumac, cumin, black or red pepper, and other local spices. The sausage is popular and is usually served grilled in lavash bread, or as sucuklu yumurta (with eggs cooked in the sucuk’s fat) or as part of Turkey’s kuru fasulye (a bean and tomato stew). Variants exist all over the Middle East. In Central Asia, sucuk is reputedly made from horse meat.

Sausages and Franks 4 (Revised v2).jpg From left: German Franks, Cheese Franks, and Hungarian Cheese Sausage. All from Purefoods Deli. Photos by MIGUEL NACIANCENO

Philippine sausage (longganisa)

The longganisa is a staple part of the Filipino breakfast, becoming a quintessential ingredient in the eggs-fried rice-viand combination, through the longsilog. Its varieties are endless all throughout the regions, from Vigan to Cebu, but its main ingredient is pork (even though a chicken, beef, or tuna longganisa is also available). Frequently spiced with pepper, salt, vinegar, and garlic (the saltiness makes it de recado), it also comes in sweet versions (hamonado) and is prepared either loose (hubad) or inside its casing.

The local versions trace their origins to Spain, through the “longaniza,” finding affinities with the chorizo and the Portuguese linguiça. While longganisa is an everyday dish (and not necessarily a celebratory one) its distant cousins (franks and sausages) are a feature of holiday spreads.

Locally, Purefoods Deli offers a variety of franks and sausages around the world — from cheese franks to Hungarian sausages, giving Filipinos an authentic taste of some of Germany’s best imports.

South Korean sausage (sundae)

Not an ice cream, the sundae is a mix of pork blood with cellophane noodles and glutinous rice (often times also with barley, perilla leaves, scallions, soybean sprouts, and kimchi, among others) stuffed inside a pig intestine. Of special note is the variety with squid, considered a specialty in Abai village in Sokcho City, Gangwon Province, South Korea. The dense, chewy, and richly-flavored street food is served with gochujang (chili paste) and also pops up in other dishes such as sundaebokeum (a stir fried dish) and sundaeguk (a soup dish).

Inline_AMERICAS.jpg Illustration by ELLE SHIVERS

THE AMERICAS

American sausage  

Beyond the hotdog, the American sausage is most exemplified in the breakfast or country sausage, made of pork scraps and trimmings to maximize the use of the pig. English colonists brought their brand of sausage making to the United States, even as Native Americans made the pemmican, a preserved, compressed dried-meat-and-berry cake. Both established the tradition of breakfast sausage in the U.S., even as sausages from other countries, such as France’s andouille, evolved to become a keystone of local Cajun cuisine in Louisiana.

As in South Africa and Germany, Americans celebrate the juicy, salty sausage over a barbecue grill, most especially in National Sausage Month in October, which coincides with the German Oktoberfest.

Spanish / South American sausage (chorizo, morcilla, etc.)

Sausages in South America traveled there from Spain, which has a long tradition of cured meats encompassing jamon iberico to the beef cecina. The most famous sausage in the region is the chorizo, which in its numerous varieties, is usually made from ground pork and sweet or spicy pimenton, from which it derives its reddish color. The Mexican variety is supposed to be spicier than the Spanish-style chorizo, the former made with several types of chili peppers. On the other hand, the morcilla is a blood sausage filled with black rice, peas, or chickpeas, depending on the region, with a full-bodied taste owing to its main ingredient. There also exists a longaniza, a kind of pork chorizo enjoyed in Chile, Peru, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

Chorizo is a staple of traditional Christmas cooking, present in the tortilla de chorizo and fabada Asturiana (Asturian bean and chorizo stew), the latter more popular during the days leading to Christmas as a national dish that families go home to.

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Food styling by Chichi Tullao

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For a taste of European sausages, Purefoods Deli’s sausages and franks provide an easy and delicious experience, available in supermarkets nationwide.