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Sausages

meat, casings and varieties

SAUSAGES: of the best quality, consist essentially of minced prime fresh meat, either beef or pork, or both, cured, spiced, stuffed into casings and, usually, smoked.

With few exceptions, all sausages, other than those for immediate disposal, should be kept, preferably hung, in a cool dry dark place. To be enjoyed at their best, they should, ordinarily, be sold and consumed as soon as possible after their full preparation is completed.

In general manufacture, the coarsely chopped meat is first mixed with sugar, salt and a little saltpetre and allowed to rest or "cure" for a few days. Then comes, in most varieties, a second finer mincing, next the addition of spices or herbs, or both, and finally filling into beef, sheep or hog casings and smoking—the last-named being identical in process with that for HAM (which see) except that the time required is shorter.

Cheaper grades contain a considerable percentage of potato flour, rice, bread or cracker meal, or other similar fillers, and the meat consists largely of "trimmings"— cheek meat, etc.—coloring matter being frequently employed to obtain the red hue desired.

The casings are generally the thoroughly cleaned intestines of steers, sheep and hogs. The domestic supply is supplemented by importations from England, Australia,

New Zealand, Germany, Holland and Turkey.

Some varieties of sausage are eaten as purchased, without additional cooking— often nearly raw; others are cooked for varying periods before serving. It is gen erally better to err on the side of over than under cooking, as there is always the danger of trichinae in pork that has not been thoroughly permeated by strong heat (see article on TRICHINAE), unless the salting is especially heavy.

As sausages, like mincemeat and other similar articles, are always open to suspi cion on the part of inquiring-minded housewives, it is wisest to handle only those made by concerns with thoroughly established reputations for cleanliness and whole someness of preparation.

The following list of the most popular varieties names the principal ingredients, etc., of their general manufacture in high class establishments, but customs and for mulas vary widely. The accompanying Color Page shows, in reduced size, Bologna, Cervelat, Frankfurters, Head Cheese, Mortadelli and Salami.