Sausages and Cured Foods s ausages have been popular since ancient times. They were first made to utilize and preserve trimmings and less desirable cuts from a meat carcass. Most people have heard the expression about using "every part of the hog except the squeal." The preparation of sausages is an important part of this process.

The French term charcutier (shar koo tyay; the feminine form is charcutière [shar koo tyair]) means one who prepares and sells pork products. The art of the charcutier is called charcuterie (shar koo tree). We use this term more generally to refer to the production of sausages, pâtés, and smoked ham and other cured and smoked products.

The main part of this chapter is devoted to the production of fresh sausages, which are easily prepared in any kitchen with relatively simple equipment. We also introduce the subject of cured and smoked sausages with an overview of curing and smoking. Preparing smoked hams and cured, air-dried meat products is an advanced subject that is beyond the scope of this book. However, reading the first section of this chapter will enable you to understand how these items are produced. A small sampling of recipes gives you some experience with curing and smoking before you proceed to the main section on sausages.

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

1. Prepare simple dry-cured and brine-cured foods.

2. Prepare simple smoked foods.

3. Prepare fresh, cured, and smoked sausages.

Continue reading here: Curing And Smoking

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