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All About Sausages



Sausages are charcuterie products made of chopped or minced meat mixed with spices and herbs and stuffed into a casing. The term sausage comes from the Latin “salsis”, meaning salted or preserved.

Traditionally, sausages were made with lean meats and pork fat. However, though a huge variety of pork sausages still exist today, there are also varieties made with beef, veal, lamb and game meats. Quite the selection!

Sausages can also contain water, extender agents such as starch, flour or skim milk, sugar, spices, liquid smoke and preservatives. All these ingredients are cut or chopped and stuffed into a natural casing, usually of cleaned pork or lamb intestines, or a synthetic casing made of collagen or cellulose. (Note: Collagen casings are edible but cellulose ones are not and must be removed prior to eating.)

Raw sausages are those requiring cooking before eating. And what a huge variety of raw sausages there is to choose from! Other than the classic Toulouse, merguez, chipolata, Italian, German weisswurst and bratwurst, and breakfast sausages, there are almost as many varieties of sausages as there are charcutiers!

There are in fact several delicious Metro-exclusive Selection Merite sausages like Toulouse, mild, spicy and with herbs; Italian, mild and strong; merguez, honey-garlic or bacon and cheddar; breakfast sausages; pork and beef, spicy and mild and BBQ sausages. There’s also a selection of classic smoked sausages, which brings us to the “cooked” sausages.


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Cooked sausages are dried, like the chorizo, or smoked, like the Bockwurst or Frankfurter sausage, which is cousin to the all-American hot dog. Cocktail sausages and Viennese sausages are also in this category. Almost exclusively made of pork in the past, today some are made with beef or turkey, which makes them much leaner.

And there are so many other things to do with dry sausages besides making sandwiches and garnishing pizza. Serve them as an accompaniment to raclette, on crackers with slices of marinated mushrooms or on an endive leaf covered with shredded provolone and minced olives as an hors-d’oeuvre.

Bologna and mortadella sausages also fall under the cooked sausage category and are popular for sandwiches, but can be prepared in a myriad of other ways. Try them chopped and sautéed with eggs at breakfast; diced in omelettes, rice fishes or salads; on canapés with a dollop of pesto or cut in strips, rolled up and secured with a toothpick and an olive for a last-minute hors-d’oeuvre.