1) HOW CAN I TELL IF A SAUSAGE IS MADE IN NATURAL CASINGS?
A distinctive bite or snap can be an indication when compared to artificial casings and you can tell if it appears soft and fleshy. Also, natural casings are curved with tightly closed ends (sometimes hand-tied with strings) while artificial casings tend to be wrinkled at the ends and are partially opened up like wrapped sweets. You can also look for the claim on the label.
2) HOW ARE NATURAL CASINGS BETTER THAN ARTIFICIAL?
The natural casing is the oldest "packaging" of the sausage. And in times of "no plastic!" More current than ever. Although there are now also artificial sausage casings, many manufacturers use natural casings for their top products. And there are good reasons for this:
Natural nice appearance of the sausage / Craft sausage
Permeable membrane ensures best smoking and ripening properties for an optimal taste experience
Natural casings are naturally available by occurring during slaughter. Hence they should be simply used instead of producing energy-consuming replacements envelopes from either natural or artificial raw materials.
The use of natural casings conserves natural resources and contributes significantly to the prevention of plastic waste through artificial sausage casings
3) CAN I MAKE SAUSAGES IN NATURAL CASINGS AT HOME?
Yes of course. Supermarkets carry small packages (tubs, jars, containers) in quantities of less than one hank. You can also buy them from authorized dealers who guarantee that the production is carried out by applying hygiene and safety on food processing. Many people make their own sausages, with a small meat grinder, meat, spices, natural casings and a recipe or their own creation.
4) HOW SHOULD NATURAL CASINGS BE STORED
This could vary from a couple of days to years, depending on the product, preservation status (salted or in brine) and temperature. For home: casings should be preserved with salt and stored in the fridge where they should be good for 8 – 10 weeks at least. Under perfect conditions, salted casings can be kept for many months.
5) WHAT TYPES OF NATURAL CASINGS ARE THERE?
- Ovine (Sheep) - small intestine, sheep bungs.
- Bovine (Beef) - small intestine (rounds), large intestine (middles), beef bung.
- Porcine (Pork) - small intestine, large intestine (chitterling), after end, fat end, stomach, hog bung, bladder.
- Equine (Horse) – small intestines
- Caprine (Goat) – small intestines
After slaughter of various species, in suitable rooms, the intestinal tract is manure stripped, depending on the species the casings are scraped and/or defatted to achieve the thin membrane that is used as natural sausage casing. The intestinal tracts are subject to health inspection by authorized personnel, and after processing it must be salted for at least 30 days to become a natural casing.
Before used for stuffing of sausages, casings undergo a handmade selecting and grading procedure.
Natural Casings are preserved with salt and are packed into foodgrade containers.
6) CAN NATURAL CASINGS BE EATEN?
As a product of animal origin, natural casings used for sausage production are suitable for human consumption. However, as part of their personal preference and taste, some people remove the casing from certain dried or cured sausages.