The Mystery Behind the Red Color of Chinese Sausage

Chinese sausage is a popular delicacy in many parts of the world, and its unique red color is one of the main reasons for its popularity. But why is Chinese sausage so red? The answer lies in the curing process, which involves marinating, salting, and smoking the meat. This process gives the sausage its distinct reddish-brown hue. The shape and color of Chinese sausages can vary depending on the type of meat used.

For instance, thin and dark sausages are usually made with pork or duck liver, while dull red sausages with bright white spots are usually made with pork and pork fat. Lap Cheong is a type of Chinese sausage made from pork, while Goin Chong Chinese liver sausage is made with pork or duck livers. In Europe, there is a saying that sausages must be produced in a month that bears the letter “R” in its name (September, October, November, December, January, February, March and April). This is because it was much easier to process meat at low winter temperatures and produce sausages that will last well into summer.

In northern European countries such as Germany, Poland, Russia and Lithuania, almost all dry and fermented sausages are smoked. In China, sausages are often eaten during the Chinese New Year. Lap Cheong sausages should be about 8 inches (20 cm) long and the belly must be twisted on itself between each sausage. A common meal in many Chinese restaurants is duck eggs with sausages and rice; sausages are steamed over rice.

Sugar is added as food for lactic acid bacteria in fast-fermented sausages to increase acidity (drop in pH). The Chinese use an ingenious way of marking the grades and quality of their sausages by using hanging cords of different colors. A new sausage called Harbin Red, Kazakh Red or LI Dao Si has become immensely popular first in Harbin, then in other parts of China and in neighboring countries.

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