Smoking foods such as meat and fish dates back to the primitive era. It was a coincidental discovery where drying was the most used method of food preservation. People lived in small huts which lacked proper ventilation. The meats that that were hanged to dry and subjected to smoke emanating from cooking areas in these huts were discovered to taste better. It soon became to their realization that smoking was the most efficient way of preserving these kinds of foods. Salt came handy in curing these meats, and it tasted even better. The use of salt became popular, and it was needed in large quantities to tenderize the large chunks of left meat that could not be consumed within two or three days.
Although the term sausage became popular during the Classical era, it existed as ‘salsus,’a Latin word referring to either as the act of salting or preserving (Garlough and Campbell, 2012). The practice of keeping meat was widespread during the summer when the climate did not favor long storage of meat enjoyed during winter. It ensured that people enjoyed their sausages during these unbearable climatic conditions. However, during winter, sausages stayed for a longer period guaranteeing anytime eatery as the cold weather inhibited the growth of bacteria and preserving the flavor.
Sausages have been named depending on the country of origin and the part of the animal from which the meat is extracted. There are over one hundred types of sausages. Some of the popular sausages include Bologna, which originated from Italy, Chipolata associated with France, Bratwurst from Germany, which is prepared using either veal pork or beef, and Frankfurter from Germany popularly served with ketchup and mustard seed and is synonymous with the hot dog.
Smoking continues to be a widely used food preservation method due to the aroma associated with the types of hardwood used. It can be done both on a commercial scale and home use. Sausages can either be hot smoked or cold smoked. Whereas hot smoking requires high temperature to realize a desired taste, cold smoking is carried out under low temperatures usually between the ranges of 20°C to 30° C (Meyer, 2012).
The low temperatures allow the sausage to absorb smoke flavors. Additionally, it ensures the sausage remains relatively moist throughout. Cold smoking is mostly carried out using an electric smoker where it is possible to adjust temperatures and perfectly blend various smoke flavors to suit different consumption needs. Cold smoked sausages are first cured using either a solution of salt and nitrate, or a possible nitrate combination. These curing solutions facilitate drying, leaving the meat used in making the sausages soft and flavored, depending on the kind of the flavors used during the curing process.
Cold smoked sausages can be used in making variety of delicacies. Some of these dishes include Sausage bake, curried sausages, meatballs, sausage rolls, and devilled sausage. Devilled sausages are popular due to their dash of sweetness resulting from the mixture of slowly cooked apple and onion which makes it one of the irresistible dishes possibly derived from the cold smoked sausage. Meatballs, on the other hand, are made from a combination of meat, fat and desired accompanying flavors, which give them the perfect taste. Other uses of cold smoked sausages are carried out through a detailed recipe that matches the kinds of tastes and flavors.
- Garlough, R., & Campbell, A. (2012).Modern garde manger. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning.
- Meyer, A. (2012). The working garde manger. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor &Francis Group.