While the concept of sausage is simple, thousands of variations can be found throughout the world. Sausages can be fresh, cured, smoked, or cooked. They are made of beef, pork, veal, chicken, and more. And they can include myriad ingredients, from spices and herbs to fruits, vegetables, and cheeses—and even liquids such as beer, whiskey, or blood. Our “Sausage in Profile” series aims to introduce you to different types of sausage—their flavor profiles, histories, and uses—from familiar favorites to unique finds.
Here in the U.S., the name kielbasa refers to a specific type of Polish sausage, but in Polish “kielbasa” is just the general word for “a sausage.” There are many varieties of Polish sausage, as sausage is a staple in Polish cuisine. The sausage Americans are thinking of when they refer to Kielbasa is “Polska Kielbasa Wędzona,” or Smoked Polish Sausage. While each manufacturer of this sausage has its own recipe, this sausage is generally known to contain pork, beef, garlic, marjoram, and spices.