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What is Prasky?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Prasky is a type of sausage typically made from a blend of pork and beef, which is ground fairly coarsely and prepared with other spices and seasonings. Though the name of this meat is Polish in origin, this food actually originates from the Chicago area of Illinois in the US. A number of butchers and delis offer different types of this sausage, each using slightly different ingredients and spices to create unique and signature flavors. Prasky is similar to summer sausage and often used on sandwiches or served as part of a meat and cheese platter at parties, holidays, and special occasions.

Sometimes spelled “praski,” prasky is an American sausage with strongly Polish roots with regard to the flavors used and the way in which this sausage is made. Like other sausages, this product is typically made through a blend of meats and spices that are combined and then stuffed into a casing for curing. The type of meat used to make this sausage can vary, though in general most recipes call for a combination of pork and beef to create a complex flavor profile and texture that surpasses either meat when used alone. Spices and seasonings added to prasky also tend to be different depending on the maker of the sausage.

Prasky originated near Chicago, IL.
Prasky originated near Chicago, IL.

These spices can include typical spices such as salt and pepper, more flavorful spices like garlic or onion powder, and unique spices such as caraway to create a signature flavor. The meat in prasky is usually coarse ground to have a texture that is toothsome without being too smooth or too rough within the sausage. Once the sausage is properly prepared and cured, it can then be purchased and enjoyed without further cooking, similar to a summer sausage. Since this sausage is primarily found in Chicago, many websites offer customers the ability to order the sausage online and have it shipped to them.

Prasky is typically served at holiday parties.
Prasky is typically served at holiday parties.

Prasky can come in different shapes and sizes, though in general it us available in common elongated sausage shapes. They are usually made large enough in diameter to be sliced and easily used on a sandwich. Sandwiches made with prasky typically use rye bread and stone ground mustard, to accentuate the flavors present in the meat and provide a richer flavor backdrop for the sausage to be tasted against. Smaller sausages can also be purchased and sliced to create more bite sized pieces that are often served on crackers or accompanied with cheese on party platters.

Discussion Comments


Like many other foods, the origins of this type of thing are usually hard to trace and muddied by different cities that claim its origin. Chicago is one city where it is well known and regarded, though it can certainly be found in other areas.

Many types of sausages are similar, and minor distinctions can make all the difference.


Prasky is not credited as being from Chicago. It is a variation of a German Thuringer sausage, and very similar to many Eastern European sausages. Prasky is found throughout the Great Lakes region, in every city with a large Eastern European population.

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    • Prasky originated near Chicago, IL.
      By: aboikis
      Prasky originated near Chicago, IL.
    • Prasky is typically served at holiday parties.
      By: .shock
      Prasky is typically served at holiday parties.