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How Do I Choose the Best Andouille Sausage?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Leigh
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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When choosing andouille sausage, you should consider the quality of the product you are buying. The ingredients used in the sausage-making process have a big impact on the taste of the final product. Andouille sausage should have a smoky and spicy flavor in order to be traditional, and can also be found in vegetarian and vegan versions. Your budget and personal taste will have a big impact on which type of sausage is best for you, though it is also possible to make andouille sausage at home to cut down on cost and to control the ingredients even further.

It is important to check the ingredient label when purchasing andouille sausage from a grocery store or butcher's shop, as you want to know the items being used to make it. Andouille sausage generally contains pork, peppers, onions, and seasonings. Watch out for ingredients that have unfamiliar names, as these are usually a type of preservative or chemical, which make the sausage less healthy. Vegan and vegetarian versions of andouille are made using similar seasonings and a meat substitute such as tempeh, sietan, or beans.

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Once you find a version that appears healthy, it is important to make sure that the sausage fits your budget. Due to andouille's rich and pronounced flavor, it is not generally necessary to use a large amount to make a big impact in a dish. Consider purchasing a few sausages and adding them to soups and stews for a smoky and distinctive taste. If money is no object, choose the sausage that appeals to you most because it looks fresh, is not discolored, and smells good. Once you have purchased the sausage, it is up to you whether you like the taste of it or not, as some varieties have more seasonings and spiciness than others, so you might want to compare a few brands to find the best fit.

With a grinder, casings, and spices, it is possible to make andouille sausage at home using pork shoulder or another cut of meat. Once the meat has been ground and spices added, it can be stuffed into the casings and smoked. This is a way to completely control the ingredients that you use as well as the level of spiciness in the sausage mixture. There are many recipes for andouille sausage available in cookbooks and online.

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