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In the west, sausages have a lengthy history. According to Wikipedia:

Evidence suggests that sausages were already popular both among the ancient Greeks and Romans, and most likely with the various tribes occupying the larger part of Europe.

A similar food in the east is known as the Chinese sausages. There's many varieties in both East and West, though generally I'd say there's a reasonably distinctive difference (Chinese sausages are typically made with a much higher fat content; the Cantonese variety is akin to a sweet thin roll of pepperoni).

But at the same time, they are all similar enough to be recognised as sausages. For instance, they typically (or traditionally, anyway) both use intestines as casing for stuffing meat into. Unfortunately the wikipedia article doesn't talk about the history of Chinese sausages.

So my question is, did the Chinese independently discover sausage making? Or was it spread to the Far East, possibly via merchants or sailing ships?

  • They tacked into the wind. – CGCampbell Sep 1 '15 at 14:51
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I would say it's probably independently discovered. Since it's not a real stretch to put meat scraps together to not waste food. In fact in China, there's a 6th century agricultural manual that contained instructions for making sausages. So I think it's more plausible that the ancient Chinese discovered sausages by themselves so early in history.

According to Wikipedia, modern Cantonese style sausages was invented in 1894 by a Cantonese porridge shop owner, who stuffed intestines with the leftover pork and pig liver from his store. The Northeastern type of Chinese was apparently introduced by a Lithuanian cook in the early 20th century. These are probably varieties though, while people would be familiar with the concept.

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