Object Matters: SausagesA silly history of sausages.

Object Matters: SausagesA silly history of sausages.

Humans may disagree on a lot, but we all love sausage. Whether you’re snapping into the casing of an Armenian sujuk, a Cantonese lap cheong, a German bratwurst or a Chicago-style frankfurter, the basic idea—small pieces of animal protein, fat and seasoning stuffed into a tube—has remained virtually unchanged in the millennia since its inception.

The first discovery was that salt and smoke could keep meat fresh longer (the English word sausage derives from the Latin salsas, meaning “salted”). The next revelation was that undesirable casualties of the butchery process (entrails, viscera, skin, facial cartilage, connective tissue, etc.) could be made edible—and tasty!—when combined with chunks of fat and seasoning. And the final realization was all about efficiency: The whol...

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