Sausage (A country-by-country photographic guide with recipes) Nichola Fletcher (DK) $24
Obvious jokes aside, I’ve always been partial to a good sausage. From Wee Willie Winkies, sliced Lorne Sausage, and deep-fried Black Pudding in Edinburgh, through Saveloys and Cumberland and Lincolnshire links in London, to the Chorizo, Kielbasa, and TO Street Meat that I discovered in Toronto, in many ways it would be possible to trace the history of my life through my intake of sausages.
Due to latent hypomania, more often than not you’ll find me with my nose stuck in some reference book or another, and so a reference book about my beloved sausages was a shoo-in from the get go really. It has to be said that I did get some slightly odd looks from my girlfriend as she observed me salivating over the pages and grunting the occasional exclamatory “Hey, did you know that there were around ten different types of Kielbasa?”.
After a thorough introduction to the wonderful world of sausages (defining sausage/buying sausages/storing sausages/classifications of sausages), the meat of the book is a beautifully photographed 139 page country-by-country breakdown of this planet’s wide variety of the things.
Well-researched and easy to comprehend, this veritable sausage field guide packs in a fair amount of information with each chapter, and indeed each individual entry. I learned a fair bit through dipping into this book. Before opening it I had no idea that Venison Haggis even existed, nor that Stornaway Black Pudding was more often than not made with sheep or beef blood due to the fact that there were very few pigs on the island. And the breakdown of the plethora of sausages made throughout Europe is truly mouthwatering if you are into such things. I myself happen to be greedy for it.
Following this are around 45 recipes of varying complexity that involve sausages in some form or another. Moving from Jambalaya through to Cassoulet, there are enough menu options here to keep any hungry sausage lover satiated.
Finally there is a short section taking the reader through the basics of sausage making, looking at fresh sausages, scalded sausages, cooked sausages, chorizo, and finally blood sausage. I’ve never made my own sausages before, except at make-your-own-sausage workshops and the like, but I feel that this book may have given me the inspiration to experiment with my own. Watch this space…
Poring through the guide’s glossy pages, I found myself pining for the myriad selection of sausages available in both Germany and Austria, reminiscing about the many good times I had spent at the wonderful sausage stand just behind the Vienna Opera House. Any book that is capable of inducing such gastronomic memories is a winner in my mind. I’d heartily recommend this book for any sausage fanatic or sausage curious you know as it’s a more than worthy addition to anyone’s kitchen library.
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he never realised just how easy it was to salivate over pictures of sausages.