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Charcuterie: Sausages/Pates/Accompaniments

Charcuterie: Sausages/Pates/Accompaniments

Book Review: this history of charcuterie offers an in-depth look at the history and how-to of sausage-making.

by Fritz Sonnenschmidt Delmar, Cengage Learning, $61.95

They say you don't want to know how sausage — or law — is made.

But Certified Master Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt's Charcuterie could lead readers to a serious passion for the somewhat “lost art” of preparing sausages, pates, head cheese and cured meats.

Sonnenschmidt's knowledge of the rich tradition of making sausages adds a lot of depth to the kitchen-tested recipes found here.

There are contemporary and classic recipes for a wide variety of meats, seafood, poultry and game alongside the origins of the craft. Forcemeats are explained dating back to 75 B.C., and culinary giants like Antonin Careme are name-checked.

A roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work kind of book, Charcuterie has detailed photos and step-by-step procedures. Conversion grids and sausage quantity calculation charts are provided to help modify recipes to accommodate the number of people you want to serve.

Readers will get a textbook-ish feeling at the end of each chapter. A summary and review questions make you feel as if you're studying at the feet of a master. Will there be a test later? Studying the chapters here could help chefs produce some brats, terrines and more that make the grade.

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