Monday, April 18, 2016


Having enthused about the Wurst of Lucky Peach, and having made some claims to be a sausage maker in my review, I reckoned it was probably time to make some more sausages.

As I’ve said before – there’s no mystery about sausage making.   You grind up some cheap meat, pork and turkey in this case:

You season it to taste - I generally under season rather than over season, so I went heavy on the garlic and paprika, but there's onion, cumin, black pepper and a few other things in there too:

You stuff it into a hog casing:

And voila you’re a sausage maker:

Admittedly all this is a lot easier when you have an electric meat grinder, as I now do, but I started out making sausages with a hand grinder, and it was much harder work, but arguably more satisfying for that very reason.
Two other bits of sausage lore surfaced while I was digging around.  First this vending machine that sells hotdogs.  I wish I knew more details:

 And then this startling bit of information which was in a New Yorker article about airships, though I’ve subsequently seen that the information has been circulating for a while.  The article runs: “The gas cells of many of the early zeppelins were made from so-called goldbeater’s skin: cow intestines beaten to a pulp and then stretched. It took two hundred and fifty thousand cows to make one airship. During the First World War, Germany and its allies ceased production of sausages so that there would be enough cow guts to make zeppelins from which to bomb England.”

This doesn’t seem to be a hoax, and I don’t want to contradict anyone.  On the other hand I’ve found the photograph below which I believe shows the inside of the Hindenberg, and it sure doesn’t look like cow guts.   Maybe I just don’t understand how the process of beating cow guts to a pulp turns it into a large skin.

I think it also raises the questions of why the Germans didn’t just make (or perhaps continuing making) their sausages using pig guts.  


  1. In high school I use to get time and a half to volunteer to help make the boudin. No one else ever wanted to make it.

    1. Keith, you've lived such a rich, full life! That's actually not ironic. Well, maybe just a little.