The only lamb-filled sausage to make the cut, merguez is a long-standing Middle Eastern and North African staple sausage, often served drenched in hot and/or yogurt sauce and stuffed into a soft pita, street meat-style. Inside, hearty ground lamb is heavily dosed with cumin, sumac, garlic, fennel, and harissa (a spicy African spread) before being stuffed back into a sturdy lamb intestine (there, I said it) casing. Merguez is especially fun to make at home, since it thrives on low-and-slow indirect heat -- the key to producing the most lusciously lip-smacking sausage possible -- and you can satisfy your halal hankering without having to wait in line with a bunch of miserable office drones. Also, it tastes amazing.
Seasoned with a heavy hand of smoked paprika, cumin, and garlic, pork butt-based linguiça is the sausage of choice in Brazil, Portugal, and, curiously enough, much of New England thanks to a well-established Portuguese immigrant population (see Mystic Pizza for reference... also, for a wonderfully fulfilling movie-watching experience). Its flavor and consistency are reminiscent of a thick-cut pepperoni and it comes in both a mild and spicy Calabrese version infused with potent South American peppers. This is no light afternoon fare, mind you -- linguiça is thick and hearty, traditionally served over rice with beans and stewed greens, and might not be the best choice for the faint of heart (or for the high of blood pressure).
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