By Marco Mancino and Alfonso Ussia
Italian sausage is a typical dish which is appreciated in the whole world. However is often difficult to recognise the varieties of this Italian speciality.
The main ingredients are the same in all the kinds of sausages: parts of pork meat and pork lard in variable proportion, sliced “al ceppo”, thus manually with a knife on a wooden cutting board. This procedure allows the meat not to lose its compactness.
We must distinguish two main kinds of sausage: the dried one, which must does not have to be cooked, and the fresh one, which instead must be cooked. Drying procedure may last months or even years, and is done at low temperature in dry and dark environment.
The smaller is lard sliced in the sausage, the softer is the result. For instance, there is a variety of sausage which can be spread on bread, thanks to its high percentage of thin-cut fat matter.
In places like Sicily people like fresh sausage seasoned with “finocchio” seeds and sometimes tomato and cheese. In Lucania, a southern italian region instead, sausage is simple and seasoned only with black pepper. In Calabria, another Italian region ,there is a spicy variety which is very dry and with a lower content of fat. It is called “soppressata”, which means that is pressed into the wrapping.
Sometimes sausagea are made of indigenous animals’ meat, such as deers and boars. In order to diminish the wild strong taste of these animals’ meat, sometimes pork meat is added.
So, how to choose the best sausage? The answer is only try and feel which type you like the most.