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The dry-cured countryside French sausage generally known as saucisson sec is made of up to three-quarters lean meat and bardière (pork back-fat). Maison Loste uses a grill to smoke their sausages as they dry, imparting an added layer of flavor. The drying and curing process lasts for one and a half to six months, or until the sausage becomes firm and dry. The interior of the sausages is a deep red color flecked with creamy, fatty white dots, rounding out the taste of the spiced meat.
Serve your lightly chilled apériloste as part of a cheese and charcuterie board—delicious and an excellent conversation piece in one! Skewer them on a toothpick or pop them into your mouth as is; leaving the casings on only augments the delightful flavor further. We like these sausage bites with a bit of aged Cheddar on the side too. With cornichons, green and black olives, Castaing Onion Confit, and a little toasted bread, you’ll find surprisingly memorable pairings. On an altogether different track, we also like our saucisson sec in soups or hearty stews, and the ball-like shape of the apériloste makes it perfect for this purpose in the cooler months of the year.
Your glass cannot be left empty for such a treat, so have some sweet Riesling or mild Merlot. A robust Shiraz or Syrah meets the intense spiced bites well, particularly the chorizo version.
A curious thing about saucisson sec is the layer of white powder surrounding the sausage, no matter what shape or form it takes. This is what’s called the fleur de saucisson, which is actually similar to the mold deliberately sprayed onto soft cheeses like Roquefort. It helps in the preservations process, and, more importantly, intensifies the flavor of the sausage spices. Amusingly, it’s also related to penicillin!
This type of sausage may be stored for up to 6 weeks (if whole) in your pantry and indefinitely in the refrigerator (whole or in vacuum-packed slices). After opening, they should be used within 3 weeks.