This spicy sausage is a traditional cured meat of Chongqing, whose preparation method was developed in the past to store meat for long periods of time. Today, it is still handed down from generation to generation with some variations, both in terms of production process and flavour, depending on the area. In Chongqing, this sausage is more hot and spiced than in other regions, which is why it can be stored for longer.
It is made every year, in the 12th month of the Chinese lunar calendar (towards the end of January/first half of February), without using any additives or preservatives. At one time, it was made in occasion of the New Year celebrations, and was only served in lunches prepared for guests.
The best meat for making it is the pork shoulder, raised locally and recently slaughtered. The pigs chosen to this end are local breeds or crossbreeds, of average size and not very heavy. The meat must be cut into small pieces, then mixed with pepper, chilli pepper, ginger, wine and salt. Then this paste is placed in the gut, forming irregular cylinder shapes, some curved, and tied at the ends. Then the drying stage begins, to eliminate excess moisture, and the smoking stage, using firewood and pine needles.
Before cooking, the sausages have to be washed. They are steamed, boiled, or fried with garlic sprouts.
With the intense urbanisation of the past few years, demand for sausages is mostly met by industrial production. However, industrially made sausages are made with additives, the smoking is done with chemical compounds and is too fast, and therefore the quality and flavour are not comparable with those of traditional sausages.
Instead, the artisanal production technique and the authentic flavour of the traditional Chongqing sausage should be preserved.