Why You Should Eat Sausage for Every Special Life Event

March 31, 2016

Every life is composed of five main events, and while not everyone’s five events are the same, they do share one thing in common: sausage. Sausage, with its links and rounded shape represent the interconnected and circular nature of life. They should be eaten at every special life moment. Here are five sausages to go with five of the most common occasions in most people’s lives.

More on wursts are in this cookbook.

Your Wedding

Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang

Why this sausage: It’s the meaty embodiment of the phrase “to have and to hold”
Where it’s from: Taiwan

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The name of this sausage is a complete, grammatical sentence in Mandarin, though one you won’t likely find in your phrase book: “A big intestine wraps around a small intestine.” The “small intestine” (xiao chang) here refers to a simple grilled pork sausage, and the “big intestine” (da chang) to a larger sticky rice–filled sausage that bear-hugs the smaller sausage. (The barnyard funk that usually accompanies large intestines is present and accounted for.) Condiment options might include everything from simple soy sauce and wasabi to pickled mustard greens and peanut powder.

Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang (left) and Drei im Weggla (right)—not full-size on purpose. Photo by Wikipedia, Wikipedia

Birth of Your Triplets

Drei im Weggla

Why this sausage: Life’s suddenly become about finding things in threes
Where it’s from: Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg won a European Union Protected Geographical Indication for the Nürnberger Rostbratwurst in 2003. Throughout the city’s storied, turbulent history, the little sausage has stood firm. For the past seven centuries, breweries and street vendors have been selling these finger-size (regulations specify 7 to 9 centimeters in length) links—ten or twelve or fifty to a plate, with heaping sides of sauerkraut and fresh horseradish. However, the Drei im Weggla—literally, “three in a bun”—is the local way to take your brats: a crusty, bulbous bun is filled with a trio of marjoram, mace, and onion–infused sausages (crunchy from grilling; that’s the rost part of rostbrat-wurst) and slathered with sharp yellow mustard.

Naem, what the doctor ordered. Photo by Wikipedia

Birth of Your Fourth Child


Why this sausage: Let’s admit it, the wheels have come off a little bit since the triplets showed up; now you barely have the energy to get through the day, let alone worry about little things like cooking fresh food
Where it’s from: Thailand

If we had to guess at naem’s origin story, it’d go something like this: Cook accidentally leaves raw pork out for days at room temperature, comes back, eats it, doesn’t die. Thus, naem. Naem is, if you haven’t deduced, raw pork allowed to ferment at room temperature for about five days. Lean pork is blended with skin, garlic, bird’s eye chilies, sticky rice, salt, and sugar, then wrapped in banana leaves or plastic and left alone for bacteria to do their work fermenting the sausage and producing mouth-puckering lactic acid. Naem is frequently eaten raw, sliced straight off the pale-pink log, with shallots, chilies, ginger, and peanuts, or in salads. But it can also be found fried, grilled, or stir-fried with eggs or rice.

Nigerian Sausage Roll for gridlock. Photo by Wikipedia

Mother's Day in Lagos, And You're Running Late

Nigerian Sausage Roll

Why this sausage: It’s literally built for this exact occasion
Where it’s from: Nigeria

The next time you’re stuck in a Nigerian traffic jam and feeling peckish, roll down the window, and flag down a sausage-roll hawker (the guy darting between cars yelling “Gala! Gala! Gala!”). He’s not inviting you to a black-tie reception, but rather selling one of Nigeria’s favorite handheld snacks: minced beef seasoned with bouillon powder and baked in a pastry wrapper. Gala is the name of the country’s most popular brand of packaged rolls, and has become a misnomer for the rolls themselves. At about twenty-five cents each, they’re very economical, which is good because you’ll have plenty of time to scarf a few in this gridlock. MOVE, dammit!

Completo, light on the tomato. Photo by Wikipedia

The Funeral of Your Sworn Enemy


Why this sausage: It would be so stone-cold mean to eat this absurd hot dog in a crowd full of mourners
Where it’s from: Chile

The Chilean completo is, as the name promises, complete. A grinder roll provides the structural support for a standard boiled hot dog, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocados, and—this is the essential ingredient— more mayonnaise than seems possible or advisable. This relatively tame take on the completo is known as el italiano because of its colors, which are similar to those of the Italian flag. But to make it even more completo, add more toppings: green salsa, bacon, sauerkraut, melted cheese.

The information in this silly list comes from the slightly less silly but equally sausage-obsessed book, The Wurst of Lucky Peach, the first in a series of single-subject cookbooks from Lucky Peach.

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Editor in chief and cofounder of Lucky Peach. Also the author of The Wurst of Lucky Peach and coauthor of Ivan Ramen and The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook.