By Gary Allen
When you get right down to it, taking the intestine of an animal and stuffing it with the ground meat of that animal doesn’t really seem all that intuitive an approach to food preparation. But, as Gary Allen shows in this rich and engaging history, people worldwide have been making sausage for thousands of years. A veritable alphabet of sausages, from the Cajun andouille—and its less spicy forerunner, a French saucisson of the same name––and Mexican chorizo all the way to the Italian zampone, Allen tells a story of relentless creativity and invention, as different cultures found countless delectable ways to transform these otherwise unappealing pieces of meat. Allen peppers his account with examples from all over the world, as well as antique posters and advertisements, artworks and cartoons; together, they build a picture of a food that has been beloved—even as it’s scoffed at—throughout human history, and remains a spicy favorite today.