Oh, the sausage. Whether it is bratwurst, Slim Jim, hot dog, salami, or kielbasa, there is no questioning the unadulterated love the world has for sausage. Have you ever pondered why sausages are around every corner and in nearly every ethnic dish? Sausage is found across many cultures, but who invented sausage to start this craze?
What is Sausage?
First we must ask, what is sausage? Sausage has come to include a dizzying array of meat products. Generally, sausage is recognized as any tissue or organ that has been salted for preservation and stuffed into casings, traditionally made from the intestines of the animal.
Was It The Romans?
So who was the frugal genius who decided to stuff an animal’s meat into its own intestine? In other words, who invented sausage? The answer is not so simple. If we consider the meaning of the word “sausage,” it would lead us to the Latin word salsus, which means ‘to prepare by salting.’ As Latin is primarily associated with the Roman Empire, it is not a far stretch of the imagination to guess that the Romans graced us with sausage among their many legacies. But unfortunately, no credit can go to the Romans. The first men to make a sausages would do so by stuffing cooked intestines into animal stomachs, but they would do it thousands of years before the Romans.
Really, Who Invented Sausage?
These first sausages date back to the Sumerian culture in Mesopotamia, which is modern-day Iraq. This would have all happened around 3000 BC. Residents of China also get credit for being a close 2nd around 580BC. There is even a play by a Greek author entitled “The Sausage,” which was created around 550BC. Unfortunately, the brave soul who invented sausage by deciding to stuff meat scraps in an intestine is lost to history, so we can only wonder what his inspiration was. We like to believe that he or she was the first to really mix it up on leftover night.
Where Are We With Sausages Today?
- The most popular sausage in the U.S. and Canada is the Hot Dog.
- Sausages became known as “bangers” during World War II. They had so much water in them they exploded when fried.
- 82% of sausages are made from pork products.
- Today, many sausage casings are not real intestines; they are man-made using collagen and cellulose.
- The record for longest sausage ever made was 36.75 MILES long and is held by J.J. Tranfield of Sheffield, UK.
Still thirsting for more sausage knowledge? See more information here.
1 thought on “Who Invented Sausage?”
I always felt sausages were invented as a way of feeding more people with a smaller quantity of meat by bulking it out with fillers and keeping it interesting by adding herbs and spices to the mix. If you lived far from a big city thousands of years ago, then the only meat you had was what you and your nearby neighbors were producing. To feed everyone and prevent your village from being wiped out to starvation or malnutrition, you had to make what you had go further. Adding salt and preservatives to the sausage mix also helped the meat to last longer so you could store it until you needed it without it rotting or becoming infested with pests. Turning meat into sausages was a win-win for everybody.