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There are many different kinds of French sausages, some of which were developed in the Middle Ages. The variety comes from the large amount of recipes created in individual towns and villages all across the country. One of the most well known types of French sausages is andouille, a type of pork sausage. Other types include boudin, which can be made in pale white or black varieties that include milk or blood, respectively. Saucisse is a general term for a French sausage that has not been cured or cooked before being sold, while saucisson refers to those that have been dried and cured.
Andouille French sausages are made from pork, tripe and spices. They are very flavorful but should not be confused with the derivative Cajun andouille sausages that are usually made very hot and spicy. Both types of andouille are usually very coarse in texture and are frequently used in stews and fillings.
An entire class of French sausages are known as saucisse, which indicates the sausage is raw or smoked when purchased and needs to be cooked further. The opposite type of French sausages is known as saucisson, which is cured sausage that can be eaten without being cooked any more than it already has been during processing. Some types of saucisse, such as saucisse de morteau, can be added to soups or stews and cooked gently in the broth.
Boudin French sausages come in two varieties. Boudin blanc is generally made from meats that are light in color, such as turkey or pork. While being made, milk is added to the filling to help keep the color very light and add a complex flavor. Alternately, boudin noir is made with blood, giving it a dark color and robust taste that is sometimes mitigated with dried fruits. Both types of boudin use fillings that are ground smooth and very fine.
Cervelas is one of the fattier French sausages. The contents are finely ground pork and pork fatback. The inside of the sausage appears as a smooth, solid combination of meat that is occasionally broken by a pocket of fat that helps keep it moist and flavorful.
Each of the different types of French sausages can be made differently, depending on the area or tradition. Popular ingredients such as duck can be included in sausages such as saucisse de canard. There also are types of sausages that were created in other parts of the world and imported into French cuisine, as is the case with the North African lamb sausage known as merguez.