So Meaty!

Sausage and small goodsd production coverSausage and Small Goods Production

Submitter: A whole new world opened up for me on reading this book. Bits of it, I must admit, got under my skin and filled me with awe and wonder. It appears the word sausage is derived from the Latin ‘salsus’ meaning salted and consequently, preserved meats. I discovered rather unpleasantly sounding things like ‘bologna’ and ‘scrapple’. This latter product is of Dutch origin, though I read that it was common in the United States, where it enjoys great popularity as a breakfast dish, fried, preferably in deep fat. It seems that the English would not take to it unless the name was changed from scrapple to something like ‘Breakfast slice’ or ‘Wheatmeat’ to hide its rather unsavoury constituents. They are a lightly cured pigs head, pork rinds and blanched pork livers. However the wurst was yet to come in chapter 17 under the title of Utilization of Waste. It appears that the only part of a pig not used in sausages and small goods is its squeak, or grunt, depending on its age. All the rinds, trimmings and odd bits with strange names are rendered down into brawns, meat pastes and potted savoury spreads. Sounds awful.

Holly: “The Wurst was yet to come!” Ha! I’ve heard of scrapple, but I was under the impression that it was something that Amish people were into. (And I was right!) What I didn’t realize was that bologna was a) a sausage and b) not an international thing. I can see why it isn’t, though. Ick.

Types of sausage

Natural casings

heart and arterial system of pig

fume extractors


  1. I loves me some bologna! We grew up with it, as we did scrapple, which IS an Amish treat. However, unlike many other sausages, while scrapple may indeed be made of scraps (hence its name), its primary ingredient is fat. My hubby and I were given a loaf of scrapple once that was so fatty you could grease skillets with it! And then, if you are from Trenton, NJ, you also have the truly awesome PORK ROLL (or Taylor Ham), an unsmoked, very salty and altogether delicious, wildly unhealthy delicacy very similar to scrapple (but infinitely better). Scrapple, depending on who has made it, can look downright GREY (always appetizing!), and often TASTES grey, too, but pork roll is lovely, especially if it’s sliced thin and cooked in a pan until the edges get crispy… Yum!

    1. I grew up with pork roll as a special treat. I’m from Arizona, but my parents are from NJ and they would occasionally smuggle frozen loaves of pork roll home in their luggage. It is actually easier now to get it out West than it used to be, but it is still a treat. I also grew up with scrapple, but it is best if a) you don’t think too deeply about what you are eating, and b) slice it thin and cook it until crispy. The stuff is plentiful around my current home base on the East Coast, but they serve it thick and lightly grilled here, which translates to gooey insides that are inedible. Bleck!

  2. Scrapple is the curiously delicious leftovers-based food of the gods. I would encourage the submitter not to knock it until they’ve tried it.

  3. Making your own ____ from scratch is hugely popular right now, so this topic is good, but it needs to be an updated book for the changes that have taken place in the meat world since the ’70s–antibiotics, hormones, disease, organic classification, heritage pork, food safety practices, equipment….

  4. Well, they say people don’t want to see how their sausage is made … but if enough of them do, you can keep the book. 😉

  5. Geez, if what’s in ordinary bologna bothers you, just get the kosher stuff. You’re only allowed to use certain parts of the cow. So you don’t have to worry about scraps.

  6. I love sausages, however I feel it is best not to inquire too closely what they are made of. I prefer to believe the Sausage Fairy brings them.

  7. If you didn’t know bologna was sausage, what did you think it looked like before it was sliced? And what did you think the ring you peel off some brands was?

    Or is it the definition of “sausage” that was the issue? I’ve always thought of bologna as basically a giant sliced hot dog.

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