I enjoy a good sausage; one with personality. It was about 20 years ago I started on a creative cooking adventure. I added Paella, Gumbo, Jambalaya and even dishes that where about the sausage it self.
I would read these recipes for inspiration & then head off to the mega mart for the ingredients. It’s here that the spice rack evolved (that and Alton Brown). It was where I learned to dump last years paprika and replenish the can with fresh.
So off I would go. Where is the Andouille? Where is the Chorizo? If you can’t find it, use smoked Garlic-ed sausage. That sure sounded vague. Speaking of Chorizo, there is a Spanish-Portuguese version and the Mexican version. They are not the same.
I was getting frustrated. I wanted to make these dishes and have them taste authentic. No matter how good they turned out, I always felt a bit cheated. Cheated by America’s sausage makers.
Here is where I started loving the idea of making my own sausage. Homemade, ethnic sausage. Not the stuff from the mega mart. Not the same packaged links with different names that all taste the same.
I have voiced my number one argument to make your own, the spices vs the chemical list, and second which could also be number one, the fat content. In the United states, any meat mixture containing over 30% fat can not be labeled sausage. Keep this in mind when picking up a of hot dogs that conveniently does not say sausage on the label.
Make the sausage yourself and you control what goes into it.