A culinary cri de coeur by author Vecchio and photographer Silva that explores the history, process and prospective future of sausage making.
This book approaches sausage creation as both an art and a science. It begins by introducing readers to the industry’s leading artisans from Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland, who each offer their own unique philosophies regarding their trade. Despite their differences, however, all are bound by their dedication to making quality pork products. The author’s study focuses on the care and attention that these artisanal producers bestow upon their work, culminating in a diary-style recounting of Hawaii-based charcutier Thomas Pickett’s experiences giving pork seminars. An in-depth examination of the current state of the sausage industry follows, which can be read as a kind of call to arms. The author asks for a re-evaluation of the industry’s core values—namely, he advocates a return to quality over quantity. He also looks at how traditional approaches not only make for a better tasting sausage, but are also more environmentally sound. The book heralds a new wave of chefs and butchers who have a respect for sustainability, humane husbandry, organic growth and ecology. It also offers a series of educational chapters that tackle important subjects such as spices, salting, chopping, stuffing, tying and aging. Alongside the fundamentals, the author considers the minutiae of the craft, such as the role of activated proteins during the mixing process. He also includes more than 40 detailed, step-by-step recipes for everything from the ominous headcheese—a sausage made from snout, lips, cheek and tongue—to the deliciously spicy nduja sausage from Calabria. This approachable, elegant book, clearly the result of extensive research, will appeal to master butchers as well as ambitious home cooks.
A study that may become the new sausage makers’ bible, outstanding in its range, depth and clarity.