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10 Bizarre Things You Should Know About Sausage

Edwin Clarke

The humble sausage, or “banger” as the British have fondly named it, is eaten and enjoyed by millions worldwide. Sometimes people do more with sausages than just eat them, though—to the point where it becomes bizarre and entertaining.

10Sausage Addiction

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It takes insight and strength of character for a drug addict to admit his problem and try to turn his life around. One such brave soul is David Harding, who has come out as hopelessly addicted to sausages. Harding says he urgently needs counselling to save him from the dire consequences of sausage abuse.

Like many an addict, David has a stockpile of his forbidden fix stashed in his freezer. This precaution mostly keeps withdrawal symptoms at bay, but when his stock runs low he flies into panic mode. According to David: “I genuinely cannot bear the thought of living without sausages.”

Determined to duel with his demons, David has spent over $2,000 to treat his addiction, unhappily without complete success so far. He eats up to 13 sausages a day and is often left guiltily searching for more. Addicts tend to have their favorite drug and David’s favorite sausages are McWhinney’s Irish Pork Sausages.

David’s psychiatrist, who appears quite knowledgeable on what he should do with his sausage, has given his professional opinion that the addiction is not physical. But the real expert is Kevin McWhinney, the managing director of McWhinney’s Sausages. He has displayed his sausage to millions of people around the world and stated: “We are pleased that this gentleman likes our sausages, but wish him well in his quest to control his habit.”

9Sausage Worship

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Krod Yotchomrang was preparing her family’s evening meal when she discovered the corpse of a kitten inside a sausage, later saying that she almost threw up at the sight. Most Thai grannies would throw a fit and demand compensation, but Krod was no ordinary old lady. She decided to make a small shrine for the poor dead kitten, then light some sweet-smelling incense and pray before it.

Word spread and friends, neighbors, and even people she didn’t know turned up to visit the shrine. Unexpectedly, they started reporting amazing turns for the better after praying there. Krod and her friends allegedly won money on several lottery tickets, proving that the Shrine of the Holy Sausage brought good luck.

Local sour-puss officials soon began an investigation into the incident. They were skeptical about the good luck angle and perplexed as to how the kitten became sausage-ified. After initial suspicions that the manufacturer was mixing unwholesome ingredients in their sausage, investigators came to the conclusion that the kitten had somehow managed to sneak into a pipeline at the sausage factory.

What could have been a serious matter somehow resulted in a fairy-tale ending, and the shrine is likely to remain a lucky tourist attraction for a long, long time. Way to go, Saint Kitty.

8Sexist Sausage

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What does a male sausage look like? Would you be offended if male sausage was on display in your supermarket? These are valid questions, believe it or not, because the German Edeka supermarket chain now has male and female sausages for sale. This has caused offense to sensitive souls, who are incensed that Frauen (female) sausages are “lean” and half the size of their Männer (male) counterparts. To make matters worse, the female sausages are more expensive. Female sausage apparently has higher quality meat.

Among those who object to this gender-specific marketing is the political scientist Antje Schrupp, who explained: “Of course you can react to it as if it’s just a joke, and presumably most sausage-buyers will do that. But your choice of name and accompanying advertising is still the expression and promotion of a—in the best case—thoughtless normative sexism, which gives each gender a ‘right’ role to play, with a built-in hierarchy.” It is alleged that the sausage campaign suggests that men should eat large quantities of meat, while women should eat less and watch their weight.

Journalist Susanne Enz also complained, stating that the implication is that: “Women are there to please, while men are allowed to enjoy.” Some observers were perplexed at all the fuss, pointing out that women could just as easily buy the Männer sausages.

Will Edeka supermarket relent and equalize the sexes? Only time will tell. For now, male and female sausages remain on the shelves, but you should make sure to be seen eating both so you don’t look sexist.

7Sausage For The Birds

A barbecue is a great way to entertain friends and share a meal. Uninvited guests are normally welcome—when the guest is a bird looking for a free handout. In Australia the bird is often a meat-eating kookaburra. This weird bird looks somewhat like an over-sized kingfisher, but is probably best known for a call that sounds like laughter. But don’t take it personally if a kookaburra laughs at you. Perhaps she just wants a piece of sausage.

In 2010, a kookaburra was found unable to fly and taken to Taronga Zoo in Sydney. Although it was initially assumed that the bird had a broken wing, further investigation revealed that Kookie weighed a hefty 540 grams (19 ounces)—40 percent heavier than a normal kookaburra. She was simply too fat to fly and this time it was, for a change, humans who laughed at the kookaburra.

But the situation was really no laughing matter. Kookie became obese from eating too many sausage barbeque handouts and had to be saved when attacked by dogs. Zoo officials warned that people are killing creatures with kindness: “I’ve seen many kookaburras, but never before have I seen one so fat. In the wild she’d eat a whole small animal [and] get a balanced diet. Butchers’ sausages are just too much of a good thing.”

The bird was put on a sausage-free diet to shed the excess weight and learn to fly again. Perhaps Kookie simply thinks there’s nothing unusual about lazing at a barbecue, stuffing her mouth with sausage, and laughing at corny jokes. Anything else is for the birds and Kookie seems quite human.

6Sausage Duel

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A man brandishing his sausage like a weapon is normally just looking for trouble, but in the case of Rudolf Virchow, using sausage in a threatening manner may actually have saved his life when he was about to be killed in a duel. But let’s backtrack a little to explain.

Otto von Bismarck was a Prussian statesman who dominated European affairs from about 1860 to 1890. But in 1865, a pesky scientist and opposition politician, Rudolph Virchow, had challenged his authority by protesting against Bismarck’s excessive military budget.

We all know people like Virchow, who are always pouncing on every little detail to make you look stupid. When Virchow investigated a typhus outbreak he conducted a statistical analysis of who became ill and where they lived. He also collected details on their education, income, housing conditions, etc. After much serious analysis Virchow concluded that the spread of typhus was caused by overcrowding—which was in turn caused by poverty, which was caused by limited education opportunities, which were caused by the lack of democracy in a Germany led by Otto von Bismark. Therefore Bismark, by Virchow’s inescapable logic, was causing typhus epidemics. How could Bismarck defend his honor against such accusations?

In frustration, Bismarck challenged Virchow to a duel. This was not good news for Virchow. Bismark was an excellent shot and Virchow’s knowledge of pistols was shaky at best—he was surely a dead man. But Virchow wasn’t finished yet. He had intelligence…and sausages!

Details are sketchy, but several biographies relate that Virchow, being the challenged party, was entitled to choose the weapons for the duel, and that he prepared two sausages to be used for the event.

One sausage was normal and the other, though appearing identical, was loaded with deadly Trichinella larvae. Bismarck was to choose a sausage and eat it and Virchow would eat the remaining sausage. With his cunning sausage strategy, Virchow had improved his survival chances to an even 50 percent. Bismarck, perhaps reluctantly, withdrew his challenge and Virchow’s sausage saved his life.

5Degree In Sausage

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The sausage capital of the world is now officially Germany after the establishment of a “Sausage Academy,” where students may earn a certificate in their favorite meaty treat. The sausage Hogwarts is based in Neumarkt and offers the opportunity to become sausage experts, knowledgeable about the ideal lagers, mustards, and music to best accompany different varieties of sausage. Dedicated students may even proceed to take a master’s course in Germany’s holy grail of sausage: the Bavarian White. Are you also drooling at the mere thought of education?

It’s unclear whether regular free samples to students are a major reason for enlisting, but to date 1,300 students have earned certificates and academy principal Wittmann boasts: “I have students from all over the world and I am glad to be spreading the good news about German sausage.”

4Sausage Museum

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Tourists can visit museums of natural history, law enforcement, computers, and a thousand other fascinating exhibits—but the very latest in cool and awesome is to be found in Berlin, where a typical takeout food is currywurst, a pork sausage served with spicy curried ketchup. This popular sausage has a fascinating history and now tourists can learn all about this cultural wonder at the Currywurst Museum.

The sausage museum is interactive and assails all the senses. There is a spice chamber, sniffing stations, and a sausage sofa in the middle of a sauce stream where one may indulge in gigantic fries and, of course, samples of currywurst.

There are exhibits of ways the sausage is sold, from street vendors to the counters of clubs and bars. You can learn about the origin of spices matched to particular types of sausage and about eating habits, biodegradable disposable tableware, and how film and television has portrayed this legendary Berlin specialty. The museum is clearly the ultimate in cool, whether you are a novice or a big-time sausage expert.

3Longest Sausage

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It’s official. It’s unbreakable. It’s ridiculous. The record for the longest sausage ever made is 59.14 kilometers (36.75 mi) long. At normal walking pace, it would take you 20 hours non-stop to walk from beginning to end.

The proud maker of this record-breaking sausage was J.J. Tranfield of Sheffield, UK, on behalf of Asda Stores. The work took three days to complete, from October 27–29, 2000. A spokesperson for the Guinness Book of Records, Sara Wilcox, said they still get many hopefuls interested in breaking the record, but, “There are some records that have remained unbroken for many years, and this is one of them.”

Wilcox noted that Guinness distinguishes between the world’s largest sausage based on weight and based on length. There are also other variations such as the “longest vegetarian sausage” (100 meters/331 ft 4 in), “longest smoked sausage” (482 meters/1,581 ft 5 in), and “longest sausage chain” (1,500 meters/4,921 ft 3 in).

2Most Sausages Eaten In One Minute

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Some people love to eat slowly and savor their meal like a fine wine. Others devour their food like pigs. Of course the latter is usually seen as a social faux pas—unless you’re seeking fame and fortune, in which case it is high time to stuff your face with sausage.

In particular, this is the basis of the world record for the most sausages eaten in one minute. The current record-holder is Stefan Paladin of New Zealand, who ate a whacking eight whole sausages at the Ericsson Stadium in Auckland on July 22, 2001. That’s a complete sausage every 7.5 seconds! Each sausage was 10 centimeters (4 in) in length and 2 centimeters (0.8 in) wide.

Whether Stefan is some sort of mutant or just has a tin throat is unknown, but all subsequent attempts to beat his record have failed miserably. One such attempt, also in New Zealand, found most contestants unable to eat even two sausages in a minute. The winner of that particular event managed a whopping four sausages to win a prize, but it is clear that even dedicated sausage addicts balk at the prospect of eight sausages a minute. Becoming world famous is not as simple as it used to be, but if you love sausage, it’s still fun to try.

1Hairy Sausage

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The weirdest-looking sausage on the planet has to be the haired sausage, first made in Russia. It’s very unusual and just plain ugly, but people seem to love this new dish, which became popular after Russian bloggers spread the word online. Who invented it is unknown, but it is made by sticking lengths of hard spaghetti into a sausage, making it look somewhat like a hedgehog. This marvelous gastronomic masterpiece is then boiled in water and voila! The hairy sausage has been created.

The appearance of the haired sausage on the internet has caused a wave of interest and it’s surely only a matter of time before you find this shaggy delicacy on your plate. More and more people are experimenting with their own versions of the haired frankfurter. Perhaps you should too. Bald sausage is so boring.

+Racing Sausage Stolen

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Photo credit: RoyalBroil

In 2013, some hardened criminals stole the costume for Guido, an Italian sausage which belongs to the Milwaukee Brewers’ beloved Racing Sausages. These larger-than-life sausage costumes are worn by people who race around a track to the cheers of sausage lovers in the stands. The stolen sausage costume was spotted in several local bars before disappearing.

The news caused consternation in Milwaukee and a year’s supply of mustard was offered as a reward for whoever returned the costume. Detectives undoubtedly worked day and night on the investigation, but the sausage-napping case of the century remained unsolved for two weeks.

Then, possibly because the police were closing in on the culprits, the $3,000 sausage costume was dropped off at a bar by two people, who warned witnesses that they “did not see anything.” It appears the sausage thieves will not claim the reward. The case of the missing sausage may be forever unsolved and may yet join the ranks of Jack the Ripper and Atlantis.

Think on this at your next barbecue or duel to the death, or when next a kookaburra laughs at you: Sausage has become an integral part of our culture and way of life. After all, every young man loves his sausage and every young woman likewise.