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Saucisson at a Glance
France, Western Europe
Type of Charcuterie
Dry Cured Meat
Pork, fat, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, curing salt, bacteria culture
Saucisson sec, saucisson de ménage, saucisson d'Arles, saucisson de montagne, saucisson de Lyon, saucisson cuit, saucisson a lail, French salami, French saucisson, dry sausage, saucisson de France
The word saucisson is a French term used for dry sausages. It comes from the Latin word salsus, which means salted. The first account of saucisson is mention by Francois Rabelais in 1546, in his written work Le Tiers Livre des Faits & Dits Heroiques du Bon Pantraguel.
The practice of making saucisson has been carried over from earlier Roman times and lives on today, not only in France but in various parts of the world. 110,000 tons of this sausage is eaten yearly in France alone.
There are many different varieties of saucisson that can be found in France. However, the most common type found outside of the country is saucisson sec. More often than not, when saucisson is mentioned in other places outside of France, it refers to this variety.
This countryside sausage is made with quality meat, but some versions may include other animal parts in it as well. The meat and fat are coarsely chopped then seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and cured with the sugar, curing salt and bacteria culture. This mixture is then stuffed into large sized sausage casings then hung. It is left to ferment and dry for about 1 1/2 to 6 months, or until the sausage becomes firm and dry.
These may also be made with beef or chicken and include other ingredients. It is not uncommon to find saucisson with olives, mushrooms, pistachios, figs, cheese and even wine in it. These may also be covered in herbs or ash, depending on the kind. All these give a more robust aroma and additional flavor to the meat.
Most saucisson are large in size due to the casings used. These are considered slicing sausage and have a rustic, meaty flavor that is both rich yet mild at the same time. It is firm to the touch and may have a bumpy appearance while carrying a distinct smell.
Saucisson are dark red in color with white flecks due to the fat which also gives it a creamy and greasy texture. These are often white on the outside because of the fermenting process. Saucisson may be eaten with crackers, baguettes, other types of bread and cheese among some things. This is also a great addition to soups and stews.
Photo Credit: NguyenDai