Put the “Usage” in Sausage

Sausage is the most popular topping for pizzas around the world, behind pepperoni and cheese. Italian style sausage is one of the most popular and common types of sausage used in pizzerias today. Italian sausage products are cured or uncured containing at least 85 percent meat, or combination of meat (beef, veal and/or pork) and fat, with the total fat content constituting not more than 35 percent of the finished product. Some Italian style sausage products use pure pork instead of a blend of meats, but in some cases textured soy protein can be added to reduce the cost and fat content of the sausage.

The unique taste of Italian style sausage is due to the combination of the type of meat and spice used in making the sausage. Italian sausage contains salt, black pepper and wither fennel, anise or a combination of the two. Additional spices such as paprika, onions, garlic, parsley, sugar or red and green peppers are used to achieve the desired taste. A quick way to determine how an Italian style sausage may taste is by looking at its color. If it’s greenish-gray, it’s typically sweet and seasoned with anise and fennel. If it is more brown in color, the predominant seasonings are usually pepper and garlic. If it bears a red tint, it is likely seasoned with paprika and possibly red pepper and garlic.

Over 50 percent of pizzerias use pre-cooked sausage on their pizzas making it the most common form for sausage. In this form the sausages are more expensive per ounce than raw, but are safer and easier to store and apply to pizzas before baking. However, after accounting for normal cooking loss, pre-cooked sausage is more economical than one might think. Pre-cooked sausages are both stored and applied in a frozen state. Sausage prices vary depending on its meat and spice blend, fat content, whether it is sold cooked or raw. With the great variety of flavors and forms of sausage being used today it may ne one of the most versatile ingredients in your kitchen and can be used to spice up appetizers in addition to changing the look or taste of pizza.

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