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.
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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.