Norwegian sausages are often based on very finely ground sausage meat. Luckily our producers increasingly seem to get the message, as there are no limits to new and interestingly flavored sausages made from different ingredients on the market. Not only beef and pork, but turkey, chicken, and even salmon (ouch!) have been introduced as ingredients. They do, however, not offer the carnivorous adventurer a decent rustic sausage with a real bite to it. I however have found that one favorite introduced by our immigrant population - the merguez, offers me full satisfaction.
Merguez is in Northern Africa often served with couscous.
I enjoyed a traditional merguez served this way at Un Escale à Marrakech in Marseille. See full story here
Merguez looks and tastes like a real sausage. Ground coarsely, and meat and fat are evenly distributed. It is a sausage for grown ups as it is generously seasoned with North African spices like sumac or harissa. They may contain cayenne pepper as well, leaving you refreshed and rather excited as all these endorphins are released to cope with the heat.
I used to buy merguez at my local Iranian butcher, but as it closed for business a year ago, I stopped buying them. My friend Dagfinn told me that the merguez now are sold at Vatan import, one of the largest Turkish green grocers in Oslo. He brought a packet to my summer home, and as I bit into one, I suddenly remembered how good they were.
These sausages are not precooked, thus being not very good to put on the barbie. He fried them in a little oil in my iron pan, and served them piping hot with a little salad, tzatziki, and bread. I have even substituted them to bacon in an interesting merguez and egg breakfast - a great idea.
What I know now, is that I will most certainly buy my merguez again as a spicy culinary addition to my cuisine. Do try to find one close where you live, and substitute them to your bangers. To those in the UK - does merguez and mash sound like a good idea? I think so!