Why is homemade sausage so expensive (and it is not necessary to cook it in water) – 04/06/2022

Handmade sausages are easy to find. But why are handmade sausages such a rare product on the market – and cost up to four times that of the industrial versions? There are several reasons, explains Peterson Rebicci, founder of the Escola de Charcutaria Cava and Charcutaria Artesanal community in Brazil, with nearly 80,000 members on Facebook.

First of all, making sausage is more complicated than stuffing sausage. “Sausages, like sausages, appeared in the past as a method of preserving meat. To this day they are made in a simple way: it is enough to grind, season and bag the raw meat. Compare.

Making an emulsion means the perfect blending of ingredients that don’t mix easily. In the case of sausages, meat (usually from cows or pork, but there are also recipes for poultry), spices, fat and water are included. The result is a kind of soft and creamy foam, which must be packed into a bag and then cooked (in water or steamed) or smoked.

Salcicha da Cava: The craft process requires a high investment in equipment, inputs and time - Ocaro Nicanor Candido - Ocaro Nicanor Candido

Charcutaria Cava Sausages: The craft process requires a high investment in equipment, inputs and time

Photo: Okaru Nicanor Candido

According to Bernardo Criscolo, founder of À Table Charcutaria Fina, in São Paulo, the biggest difficulty is making the emulsion at a very low temperature – water is used in the form of ice cubes, to prevent overheating during preparation. “Heat prevents the ingredients from emulsifying, causing them to separate again during cooking. Sausages have pockets of fat separated from the cuts of meat, dried and grainy. The product spoils and there is no way to recover it,” he says. explains.

The most commonly used coating is collagen extracted from cowhide. “It stings, a sign of quality,” warns Rebicci.

Starting the production of handmade sausages does not come cheap – another factor that helps explain why the product is so scarce. To get an idea, anyone who wants to start a delicate production of handmade sausage needs to invest about R$1,500, which is the price paid for a meat grinder and a packing machine, the machine that absorbs the emulsifier into the casing. To produce sausage, you need to have a chopper emulsifier, commonly known as a cutter.

Hot dog with homemade sausage produced by À la Table - Disclosure - Disclosure

Hot dog with sausage handcrafted by À Table

Image: disclosure

According to Rebechi, there are no small models, with the exact dimensions of artisanal precision production – and the price is up to 30 thousand RRL. You can even make sausages at home using appliances, but on a small scale. “I use a more powerful processor, which costs 2,000 R$ and beats 700 grams of emulsion at a time. In the weakest processors for home use, there is no point in trying, because they do not have the strength to process ice,” he warns.

Price is another factor that discourages the production of handmade sausages. Since Brazilians have always associated the product with cheap and poor quality goods, the shipping officials find it difficult to charge a price commensurate with the cost of the ingredients and the inconvenience involved.

Hot Pork's Handmade Sausages, by Chef Jefferson Rueda, Helped Change Product Status in São Paulo - Mauro Holland - Mauro Holland

Handmade sausages at Hot Pork, by Chef Jefferson Rueda, helped change the state of the product in São Paulo

Photo: Mauro Holland

Brazilian legislation allows sausages to be made from mechanically separated meat (an industrial grinding process that includes bones), from offal of various types of animals, tendons and even skin – items not close to the artisanal production of À Table. Frankfurter sausage is made from pork shank seasoned with onions, garlic, nutmeg, white and black pepper, paprika, and coriander seeds. Smoked Beef is 100% ground beef, made with chuck steak seasoned with garlic, onion, paprika, and black pepper. A 500-gram package, with six or seven sausages, costs R$30 and can be bought on Instagram @atablecharcutaria.

Table customers are surprised to discover that they do not need to cook sausages in water – since the cooking is done at the production stage, you only need to heat it. “We recommend using dry heat, such as a lean skillet, grill, broiler, or even the oven,” says Crisolo, whose hot dog sausages are stuffed with trendy São Paulo hamburgers like meatballs and Big Kahuna.

Sausages at A Casa do Porco, prepared from free-range pork, without preservatives or dyes, also sold for delivery - Mauro Hollanda - Mauro Holland

Sausages from A Casa do Porco, prepared from pork without preservatives or dyes, are also sold for delivery.

Photo: Mauro Holland

Who helped the sausage change its status in São Paulo was Jefferson Rueda, who launched a homemade hot dog at A Casa do Porco, in 2017. The chef started making sausage much earlier, in 2015, but indoors and only for their children, Joao Pedro And Joaquim Jose. They were so good that they ended up in the restaurant (considered a top 17 in the world by Top 50 rankings) and ended up creating Hot Pork, another successful business that Rueda runs with his wife, Chef Janaína.

Sales volumes grew so much that sausages, previously made inside the enterprise, began to be produced in the refrigerator of the couple’s family, Porco Real, which has a license to sell it throughout Brazil. 20,000 monthly units of free ham sausage, without preservatives or dyes, saves the group and sells for delivery – a 430-gram package costs R$40.

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