Southern and Northern Styles of Sausage

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Fermented sausages come in two general styles. One is the dry, salty, well-spiced sausage typical of the warm, dry Mediterranean. Italian salami and Spanish and Portuguese chorizos are 25–35% water, contain more than 4% salt, and can be stored at room temperature. The other style is the moister, less salty, usually smoked and/or cooked sausage typical of northern Europe, whose cool, humid climate made drying difficult. These “summer” sausages and German cervelats are 40–50% water, around 3.5% salt, and must be refrigerated. Both can be eaten uncooked.