How the (Italian) Sausage is Made
You know it when you taste it, that kick of spice in the sausage. To put it shortly, that's the Italian in the sausage. Italian sausage is one of our favorite appetizers on our menu and it makes for a killer topping! The saying may be about how you don't want to know how the sausage is made, Italian sausage is a different ball game!
First What Makes a Sausage 'Sausage'
Sausage is a type of meat 'product' made from ground meat, spices, and other items. Don't let the word 'product' scare you, sausage is hardly a heavily processed food, it's just made through a few different types of preparation. A sausage is made up of meat ground into small pieces, mixed with those other spices, and then filled into a casing to create that well-known tube shape.
Sausage can also refer to the meat that fills the casing, which is then used crumbled up onto pizza! Either way, sausage is made the same way, grinding up or mincing meat and mixing it together with herbs and spices. The balance of those ingredients is up to tradition and taste. Speaking of tradition...
So What Makes it Italian
We're glad you asked! The major difference between other regional varieties of sausage and Italian is a fun little herb called fennel!
Fennel is a flavorful herb native to the coast of the Mediterannean. The bulb, foliage, and fruits of the plant are all used in different cuisines to enhance flavor or pack a potent punch. For Italian sausage the part of the fennel that is used is the fruit. This is what gives Italian sausage it's 'Italian' flavor!
Italian sausage also will use black pepper to give it a bit more of a kick. This mixture can be further enhanced by using either red pepper flakes to increase the heat of the sausage or a sweet basil to add a nice sweetness to it.
Italian sausage has a long history! It was originally known as 'lucanica,' taken from the Lucanian people who taught Roman soldiers to take minced meat and pack it into a casing with spices and salt. This is as far back as the 5th century BCE! 2000 years before the birth of pizza, there was Italian sausage! Thankfully you don't have to wait that long between your sausage appetizer and pizza to arrive!
How Italian Sausage is Made Today
Like many of our processes here at Streets of New York, we're using techniques centuries old that are just the best way of doing it! For our particular Italian sausage, we work with salumists (sausage makers) back in Chicago who know how to mix the perfect amount of fennel to make our Italian sausage ours. You might get good Italian sausage elsewhere in the Valley, but there's nowhere else you can get Streets Italian sausage!Ready to sink your teeth in a spicy sausage appetizer? Want to get it crumbled up on top of your pizza with pepperoni, meatballs, mixed bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and black olives for a delicious New York combo? No matter how you like your sausage, Streets has you covered – order today!