French Dry Sausage - The Saucisson
Dry sausage, called Saucisson in French, is very much loved by the French who consume 110,000 tons of this delicious pork product each year. It is a very rustic French gastronomic gem produced traditionally from high-quality meat.
The first piece of advice we could give you when it comes to this outstanding French food product is to flee the industrial saucisson sold in Parisian and French supermarkets and to head to the nearest market, often taking place at week-ends in the French capital.
The ideal pig to produce a nice dry sausage will be fat, raised in a farm and fed cereals. Ham, shoulder and breast are the best parts of the animal. To produce an actual traditional dry sausage (15% of the French market, the rest being 'medicines-fed' pigs in awful industrial plants), such an animal is selected, slaughtered and then salt, pepper and various spices are added.
The sausage is made using a natural casing (being in fact pork intestines) and dried for 72 hours. It is then left from 1 ½ to 6 months to age.
Some sausage makers use pork and cow meat stirred into each other with Provence herbs added to the blend. Almost every region in the South and East of France produces its very own saucisson, each of these gastronomic French products having particular culinary benefits.
Some French dry sausages are made using vegetables or fruits too, added to the meat in the casing. Dry fruit can also be used (nuts, pistachios, figs, olives), as well as alcohol (various French wines, Génépi spirit) or even cheese (Beaufort)!
The saucisson is awesome when cut in slices and eaten with a Baguette bread (even better if you toast the French stick just before)!