In recent posts, the beginning of grilling season has had us talking hot dogs. In our area, we’ve already seen upper 80s, so we are into grilling mode. We’ve already grilled up quite a few hot dogs on our patio, but we have one picky eater in the Family Trivium house. When it comes to grilled things this person will pretty much only eat cheese brats, which like hot dogs are a type of sausage.

…but what is a sausage? For a basic, seemingly obvious definition, we turn to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

spicy ground meat (such as pork) that is usually stuffed into a narrow tube of skin or made into a small flat cake

So, it’s just spiced ground meat, optionally stuffed in a tube? Essentially, yes. In the case of cheese brats, the meat is pork and one of the spices is cheese, typically cheddar.

Who invented sausage and where was it invented? Like many things with old foods, the answers to these questions is not simple.

There seems to be a consensus that the Greeks were to first to refer to sausage in literature, as indicated over at A form of blood sausage is referenced in the Odyssey, which,according to Wikipedia, was likely written in the 8th Century BC.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “sausage” first appears in the 15th Century (CE) as “sawsyge, from Old North French saussiche” and Latin “salsus” meaning “salted.” This meshes with‘s attempt to connect sausage to the earliest humans butchering the animals that they hunted and looking to extend their “shelf life” by adding spices. It seems reasonable that salt would be one of these ingredients as it is can be found many places on Earth and is still used in most charcuterie today.

Do you have a favorite type of sausage? Please share in the comments.