Bangers are breakfast sausages that make up half of the classic breakfast dish ‘bangers and mash. Bangers and mash consist of sausages of any kind (bangers) and mashed potatoes (mash). Traditionally, people serve bangers and mash with onion gravy.
In the UK, most people call sausages bangers. If you’ve always wondered where the name comes from, this article is for you.
Sausages are called bangers because people nicknamed them during the Second World War since they used to explode with a bang while being fried.
This article discusses sausages in detail. We will look at their history, interesting facts, and the different types, but first, let us look at why they are called bangers.
Why are they called Bangers?
People have used the term bangers to describe sausages since time immemorial.
It was prevalent during wartime (both world war 1 and 2) when sausages used to ‘explode’ when being fried. However, the term was more common during the Second World War.
As discussed above, the slang bangers came up due to sausages bursting during cooking.
The bursting was primarily due to shrinkage of the sausages’ tight skin. At the time, most butchers also used cheap sausage fillers that couldn’t withstand the heat.
Another reason why the sausages burst so often was that butchers filled the sausages with more fat than meat. During the world war, meat was scarce.
Therefore, the butchers filled the fillers with a little bit of meat and a lot of fat. Due to the fat content, sausages would violently explode when placed in the pan.
Historical background of sausages
Manufacturers started making sausages over two thousand years ago, and they still do today. With time, manufacturers have adopted technical-scientific knowledge that has improved sausage production.
Sausages have been part of man’s diet for several centuries. The first mention of sausages is in a Greek play written in 500 BC. The Greek play is ‘the Orya,’ which translates to ‘the sausage.’
Men invented sausages to preserve meat. Butchers stuffed the intestines and stomachs of slaughtered animals with tiny meat scraps.
Where do sausages come from?
The term sausage comes from the Latin word salsus, which translates to salt. Natives used the term salsus to refer to dishes with salt as a primary ingredient.
Several centuries back, there was no refrigeration, so people used salt to preserve various dishes, including meat.
Although the word sausage comes from a Latin word, it did not originate from Rome. Sausages reportedly originated from; Mesopotamia and Turkey.
Reports claim that sausages originated from the Mesopotamia region, modern-day Kuwait, Iraq, and parts of Saudi Arabia.
Most people who lived in this region were Sumerians. They reportedly invented sausages in 3100BC.
The Turks also introduced sausages in 1000BC after inventing spices to dry and preserve sausages.
Sausages were convenient since they made it easy for locals to travel with their meat. Spices common at the time significantly influenced the sausage flavor.
Interesting facts about sausages
- The first sausages were made in Mesopotamia, approximately 5,000 years ago.
- In 900 BC, vendors served sausages at Greek theatres. There were several sausage sellers at the aisles of every theatre.
- The Catholic church and Roman Emperor Constantinus I banned sausages because they associated them with pagan festivals. Sausages became scarce after the ban until the Catholic Church lifted the ban.
- Dick Turpin, the legendary highwayman, reportedly made sausages as a side hustle. He used the most delicate meat obtained from hunting in the Epping forest.
- Sausages are mentioned in “The Odyssey,” a book written over 2,700 years ago.
- Sausages have various uses. We eat them as comfort food, breakfast, barbecues, snacks, children’s meals, and lunch boxes.
Types Of Sausages
Today, sausages are famous all over the world. They contain different meat varieties, including pork, beef, chicken, and mutton.
Manufacturers also garnish them using various spices. Typically, you serve sausages with other condiments or sauces.
Here are a few of the most popular sausage varieties.
Manufacturers make pork sausages using different pigs’ meat. Sometimes they use pork guts too.
There are three main pork sausage varieties; butifarra pork sausage, chorizo smoked pork sausage, and bratwurst pork sausage.
These sausages contain chicken meat. Usually, they are softer in texture and more flavorful than pork and beef sausages.
Manufacturers make these sausages by curing them with aromatic wood. They burn the wood to produce smoke.
The most common varieties are; kielbasa smoked sausages and andouille smoked sausages.
Salami, also known as Italian sausage, is a cured sausage. Manufacturers make it using fermented meat they air-dried. They use either pork or beef.
Salami is pretty famous in central and southern Europe, where it was once considered a peasant meal.
Blood sausages, also called blood pudding, are sausages filled with blood. Manufacturers cook or dry the filler containing blood until it can solidify when cooked.
They use blood from pigs, ducks, goats, sheep, or cows.
As the name suggests, manufacturers use boiled meat to make boiled sausages.
You don’t need to use spices or oil while cooking boiled sausages, but you can serve them with traditional sauces. The most common boiled sausage variety is the fuet boiled sausage.
Manufacturers make beef sausages using ground beef. They are arguably the most common sausage variety and are more succulent than liver sausages and chicken sausages.
Manufacturers make liver sausages using ground beef or pork livers. Unlike other varieties, liver sausages are never smoked.
Cooked sausages is a term that refers to all sausage varieties that you can cook in the same way, i.e., frying, baking, curing, and smoking.
The main difference between boiled sausages and cooked sausages is that cooked sausages contain seasoning.
Most people around the world consider sausages a delicacy. There are different varieties made from various kinds of meat and seasoning.
Most people call sausages bangers in the UK. During the second world war, they got the nickname because they ‘exploded’ or burst during cooking.
I hope this article answered your question on why sausages are called bangers.