Apulian artisan Vienna sausage: what are they? What are they made of? How can you eat them? (2024)

Hot dogs, appetizers, pot pies and finger food: wurstel are the perfect ally in cooking, especially when you have little time. Forget the standard products that are available on the markets and get ready to taste the artisan Vienna sausagethat have become even more trendy. They are made with high-quality ingredients and with the finest cuts of meat by the Italian cured-meats-factories. Have a look at the following guide: we will tell you what a good artisan Vienna sausageis made of and how it is produced. So, let’s prepare your pan to cook them! You will get one of the foods most loved by anyone, especially by children, on the table: only curious people areallowed!

What are Vienna sausages?

By definition, Vienna sausagesare sort of thin parboiled sausages that contain a lot of water and are traditionally made of pork, beef or horse meat. This food product comes from Germany and it is typical in the northern countries of Europe. It is considered a type of sausage especially in Italy, where it has taken its own personality in particular in the methods of production. In Italy, now, the artisan Vienna sausages, also known as wurstel,are promoted in the marketas a real traditional sausage thanks to the raw material foods.

The word “wurstel” has German origins and in English can be translated as “sausages”: northern countries of Europe eat a lot of them and they distinguish two kind of wurstel: the Wiener würstchenand Frankfurter würstchen (or Frankfurter sausage). In the States these varieties of sausages are called hot dogs, seasoned with mustard, ketchup and any kind of sauce. The difference between the Vienna and Frankfurter wurstel lies in the ingredients and shapes: the first one is shorter and is made of swine or bovine meats; the second one is longer and made of only swine meat. Over time, also Italians have started to produce artisan wurstel imitating the Austrian or German traditional gastronomy. Vienna sausagesare the most common street food, that together with beer and sauerkraut, are protagonists down the streets of Austrian and German cities.

In spite of the opinion of many, that think that Vienna sausagesare an industrial unhealthy products, the current trend is to makehigh-quality sausages. Our salumificio Santoro specializes in making artisan quality Apulian salumi, that can also be bought in our e-shop. We have created the artisan Vienna sausages: healthy, good and made of the high-quality ingredients of our territory. Let’s see how it is made, how it is produced and how you can eat them.

Apulian artisan Vienna sausage: what are they? What are they made of? How can you eat them? (1)

Production and ingredients: what are the Vienna sausages made of?

For its production and processing, the Vienna sausagesrequire swine, bovine or equine meat, to which are added some ice, hard pork fat and seasonings like pepper, paprika and additives, permitted by law. The success of the final food product depends on the right balance between flavours and the quantity of the cuts of meat. The finest and high-quality wurstel need a percentage of 40-50% of pork, 20-30% of ice and 20-30% of fat. With chicken or turkey wurstel, the percentage can change depending also on the seasonings like sauces and cheese. Cheaper Vienna sausages are made with less fine cuts of meat andthen processed with an accurate method of production.

The method of making wurstel is very important to define the quality-features of the products. In general, high-quality wurstel, produced with the finest cuts of meat don’t need lots of treatments. However there are some common stages that are useful to the Vienna sausages production. Let’s have a look:

  1. The choice ofthe raw materials and the ingredients to make Vienna sausages,the preparation of the cuts of meat andthe storage at low temperature
  2. The processing of the meats in specific machines in a predetermined order: cuts of meat, rind or fat, ice, seasonings and additives
  3. The creation of a hom*ogeneous product
  4. The stuffing in a casing of natural or synthetic casing, depending on the quality of the sausages.
  5. The cooking and the smoking of Vienna sausages in a oven with beech wood.
  6. After cooking them, Vienna sausages are sprayed with water and left to rest for at least 12 hours in our cellars at 2°C
  7. The peeling and the removing of the casing
  8. The packaging in vacuum bags, exactly as we find them on the markets
  9. After the packaging, sometimes, there is the pasteurization that is a process in which certain wurstel vacuum packages are treated with mid heat, to extend shelf life also at higher than 0-4°C temperature.

The ingredients of Italian wurstel

In Italy the Vienna sausages production is spread also to the artisan cured meat factories, that have brought to the market high finest quality product, they are made with fresh and not mechanically separated meat that are chosen one-by-one with the same attention involved in the making of the local artisan salumi. When the final product is handmade, it becomes leaner and is suitable also to be consumed by children and pregnant women. It is recommended to cook them before eating. For example, the artisan prefers the use of a natural intestine and of the beech wood in the smoking step, while industrial wurstel are smoked with a liquid smoke. On balance, artisan Vienna sausages, made of prime cuts of meat, are like real steak but with a different shape. Our tip to choose the best wurstel is to pay attention to the label. You must check the origin and the type of raw materials that have been used. If the label indicates the type of the meat used and you read “ swine/bovine meat” you can be sure: that the sausages are made with meat and minced meat, exactly like the best Bavarian wurstel.

If you read on the label “mechanically separated meat” or simply MSM, it means it is a low quality product, obtained with meat waste or low-quality meat cuts. Remember that when the casing is natural you mustn’t peel it off! Pay attention to the price, because it is a quality index: chose carefully the wurstel you eat!

How can you understand if the Vienna sausages you bought area high-quality product?

Beyond the label reading, the secret to understand if a Vienna sausageis good is in the cooking. If you are not sure about the vacuum salumi, organize a tasting or look at the wurstel during the cooking. If they tend to reduce while cooking in the pan or on the grill, it means that the product is not made with prime cuts of meat. Remember that the real Vienna sausages, according to the German gastronomic tradition, are made of a mix of high-quality lean and fatty meat. Then salt, pepper and various spices are added to the mix, and all is after stuffed into a pork or lamb intestine casing. The wurstel made of wastes of mechanically separated meat has nothing to do with the artisan wurstel!

The artisan wurstel made by Salumifio Santoro

Salumificio Santoro is an artisan cured-meats factory, 100% made in Apulia, that produces –beyond the famous Capocollo of Martin Franca- also the Vienna sausages made of local pork meat: in particular, to create the artisan wurstel, sold also in our e-shop,only lean meats of swine raised of the regional supply chain with a very law percentage of fat are used. The swine parts used are the pork shoulder and leg, so, no waste parts are used in the producing and processing of the wurstel. We recommend eating them slightly overdone or maybe grilled.

The Santoro artisan Vienna sausage, aromatized with salt, pepper and natural spices, have very little in common with the industrial ones. They are simply a very good cooked sausage made only withnoble cuts of meat, seasoned with natural ingredients.

Apulian artisan Vienna sausage: what are they? What are they made of? How can you eat them? (2)

What is the difference between an Apulia wurstel and a common Vienna sausage?

The Apulian artisan wurstel is made exclusively of meat cuts from the local pigs selected among the best ones of the Murgia. The swines here are grown in a semi-wild state, free to graze between woods and fields, without forcing the growth process nor manipulating their natural nourishment, based on Mediterranean maquis typical products. The Apulian swines eat especially corn, barley, grain, field beans and acorns belonging to the famous Fragno, a trans-Adriatic oak present almost exclusively in Valle d’Itria.

Thanks to this kind of nourishment the Apulian swine is unique worldwide and is different from any other kind of swine that grows on Italian soil. The Apulian swine was born by crossing three breeds: the Large White, the Landrace and the Duroc.

How to eat Vienna sausage

The artisan Vienna sausage are one of the best ally in cooking, thanks to the fact they are already boiled or smoked. They require a very little cooking time and are perfect to be prepared boiled in a pan or roasted at a low temperature. Many people create appetizers, finger food, savoury cakes, puff pastry pot pies, side dishes, perhaps combined with other salumi, like pancetta or bacon, Panini, hot dogs with sauces (like raw ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise) or chips. You can also prepare currywurst, the typical Berliner street food, with Vienna sausages combined with spicy tomato sauce and a lot of curry. There also other recipes like the wurstel with sauerkraut or the rice salad.

Vienna sausages are better raw or cooked?

Vacuum packed wurstel are always already cooked before being available on the market. Eatingthem raw, however, is not recommended. It is really dangerous for your health especially if they are Vienna sausagesof industrial production. To eat wurstel without endangering your health, you need to boil or roast them in a pan and cook them slightly, avoiding cooking them too much. Are you ready to taste them?

Apulian artisan Vienna sausage: what are they? What are they made of? How can you eat them? (2024)


How are Vienna sausages meant to be eaten? ›

Vienna sausages are fully cooked by the time they're packaged, and can be eaten right from the tin if you like. That said, they're most often enjoyed warmed up at the very least, if not cooked in a recipe like pigs in a blanket, casseroles, or soup.

What are Vienna sausages really made of? ›

Vienna sausage (German: Wiener Würstchen, Wiener; Viennese/Austrian German: Frankfurter Würstel or Würstl; Swiss German: Wienerli; Swabian: Wienerle or Saitenwurst) is a thin parboiled sausage traditionally made of pork and beef in a casing of sheep's intestine, then given a low-temperature smoking.

How do you eat Austrian sausage? ›

The main Vienna sausages

This is the workhorse of the Würstelstand. Cooked in water or broth, then served with a roll, mustard, and ketchup. You may know it by its name or as a “wiener sausage”, “hot dog” or “Vienna sausage”.

How unhealthy are Vienna sausages? ›

With nearly twice as much fat as protein, these Libby's Vienna Sausages are not a lean option. Additionally, this product is made with sodium nitrite, a preservative commonly found in cured meat that may increase cancer risk.

Is canned Vienna sausage ready to eat? ›

This meat in a can is fully cooked and can be enjoyed cold with no cooking required. If you prefer it hot, microwave with the broth in a microwave-safe dish for 45 seconds or heat in a skillet over medium heat.

Can you eat Vienna sausage without heating? ›

Yes, it is quite common for people to eat potted meat and Vienna sausages straight from the can without cooking them first. Both potted meat and Vienna sausages are precooked and preserved in a way that makes them safe to eat straight from the can.

Is there horse meat in Vienna sausage? ›

What are Vienna sausages? By definition, Vienna sausages are sort of thin parboiled sausages that contain a lot of water and are traditionally made of pork, beef or horse meat. This food product comes from Germany and it is typical in the northern countries of Europe.

Are Vienna sausages the same as hot dogs? ›

The Vienna sausage is very similar to hot dogs and frankfurters with similar ingredients used. What makes these sausages different is that they are softer and smaller in size. The term often refers to small open end sausages that are packed in cans.

Is spam good or bad for you? ›

Though Spam is convenient, easy to use and has a long shelf-life, it's also very high in fat, calories and sodium and low in important nutrients, such as protein, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it's highly processed and contains preservatives like sodium nitrite that may cause several adverse health effects.

Who makes the best Vienna sausage? ›

Top 50 Scanned: Vienna Sausage beta
#1Vienna Sausage Libbys4 links
#2Vienna Sausage, Original Armour3 sausages

Do you boil or fry Vienna sausage? ›

Fry the sausages in a pan if you like them a little crispy.

Vienna sausages don't have casings that will get super crispy, but you can still fry them up to add a little texture. Place a small skillet on the stovetop and heat it over medium-high heat.

How long do Vienna sausages last in the fridge? ›

Unopened cans of Vienna sausage can last for 2-5 years beyond their printed date if stored in a cool, dark place. Once you open the can, the sausages should be consumed within 2-4 days if you keep them refrigerated. If you decide to freeze the sausages, they can be stored safely up to 2 months.

What is the problem with Vienna sausages? ›

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a nation-wide recall on some tins of Maple Leaf Vienna Sausages. The agency said all 113-gram cans with a best-before dating leading up to and including Aug. 24, 2025, and bearing a UPC of 0 636191 8, are being recalled due to bulging cans.

Do Vienna sausages cause gas? ›

Fatty foods like bacon, sausage, and oily dishes may also cause bloating because they are slowly emptied from the stomach. They don't necessarily produce gas, they just hang around in the gut longer and increase the feeling of fullness.

Can a diabetic eat Vienna sausages? ›

Sausages are good for diabetics, but taking the unsweetened one is better to cut off any added sugar.

Are Vienna sausages just hot dogs? ›

The first is obvious to anyone who's taken a bite of each. Vienna sausages tend to be softer in texture than most hot dogs, which offer the familiar light yet snappy casing and firm bite. The second crucial difference doesn't even require tasting them.

What is the difference between sausage and Vienna sausages? ›

Most likely, all these terms refer to a sausage made of a mixture of pork and beef. So the answer is yes, they are the same, but just to add to your confusion, in North America, Vienna sausages usually refer to a small-sized canned variety, whereas in Europe, they are normally longer and thinner sausages.

Do you drain Vienna sausage? ›

The best way to prepare Vienna sausages for pan frying is to first drain them from the can and pat them dry with a paper towel. This will help ensure that they get crispy when pan fried.


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