You may have seen kielbasa listed down in our gyros menu, but you may be unfamiliar with it. Don’t let this unfamiliarity scare you into missing out on this interesting sausage!
Originating from Poland, the kielbasa is a sausage enjoyed by people all over the world. You may have even tried this at some point in a dish for dinner or straight off the grill during a barbecue party.
In this article, we will introduce you to the interesting history of kielbasa and how it is made. After this, you will surely want to grab and try one for yourself!
The Beginnings of Kielbasa
The term kielbasa started appearing in history books around the XVIII century. At that point, it was used to describe a thick, dark, and heavily smoked sausage which was a few feet in length. The technique used to make this sausage is now known as rope sausage.
The kielbasa was commonly seen on dinner tables of noblemen and knights of higher stature. Merchants were known to carry these sausages during long travels, and knights would often be seen carrying these on their belts.
At the time of its creation, royalty was known to hunt their prey and enjoy them as kielbasa for dinner. Once the sausage was created, other meats such as pork, rabbit, deer, and wild boar were added along with spices. With these meats and spices introduced, the kielbasa took on new flavors, and new recipes were created.
If you go to Poland today, you cannot simply ask for kielbasa or Polish sausage as there are now more than 100 types of kielbasa available today. Even now, new recipes are still made, and there is always something new to try!
How It Is Made
Like most sausages, kielbasa is made by grinding the meat with fat and adding spices. This mixture is stuffed into hog casings and then smoked. This results in a flavorful meat sausage that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Kielbasa is often grilled, but others enjoy slicing the sausage and cooking it with cabbage or sauerkraut.
You can purchase machines to make your own kielbasa at home, or you can simply visit your favorite grocery store to purchase them. You can also find these in restaurants with a variety of types and flavors.
Some Interesting Facts
- The addition of beef
For many centuries, the kielbasa consisted of pork, pepper, salt, marjoram, and garlic. However, in 1964, the government of Poland introduced a new variety that contained 80% pork and 20% beef. The other ingredients remained the same.
- The curing method
The meat used in Polish sausage is cured before it is mixed with spices. Here in the United States, the common curing process makes use of sodium nitrate and salt. In Europe, they make use of the Peklosol process, which also contains sodium nitrate and salt.
- The size of the casings
The hog casings used are usually 36 to 38mm in size, which will form the 12-inch links.
- The smoking process
The traditional smoking process usually lasts from one to one and a half days with cold smoke. This method locks in the flavor and makes it last longer.
While you may be unfamiliar with the name, the kielbasa is an interesting and delicious sausage that you shouldn’t miss out on! With it originating from noblemen and knights of Poland, you are bound to feel royal while enjoying this sausage. You can easily head on to a gyro spot near you to try one or even make one for yourself at home.
Are you looking for a restaurant in Chesterton, Indiana to try out interesting dishes such as the kielbasa, gyros, and other house favorites? Head on to George’s Gyros Spot! You can check out our website to see our menu.