One of the things I like about living in the developing world is the connection to the origin of things. In the USA, like other “developed” countries, many things are masked, hidden and disguised with a user friendly facade. However, in many old cultures, people are in touch with where their food comes from without any shame, guilt or the need to sterilize reality. No need to pretend that food magically appears in sanitized packages never touched by humans.
On a recent shopping trip in Egypt, we went to the family butcher who has been feeding many relatives top grade meat for many years. The 2 brothers who know my family members by name, including the cat, are running their late father’s butcher shop. We stopped by after 10 pm to pick up some meat. I was thrilled to see, for the first time, how sausage is made. Here not only do you get to decide how to eat your sausage, you also get to decide what goes into it! There was the ready made sausage, of course, then there’s the custom made sausage that my sister-in-law, a first grade foodie, ordered.
First the cut of beef was picked, cubed, spiced and minced (ground). More spices were added and mixed in. The gobs of ground spiced beef were fed into a piston like apparatus. The butcher dumped what looked like long white noodles into a bucket of water. The “noodles” are the small intestines of sheep. He would pull out one long “noodle” at a time, thread it over the nozzle of the piston, then start pumping the meat inside the intestines with a crank. Once the long tubes of meat are formed, the butcher braids each tube into the familiar shape we all know and love. The pictures and videos below illustrate the process. Eating sausage will never be the same again! You’re welcome!(Vegetarians beware: graphic images of meat processing!)
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