Also known as soudjouk, sucuk, sudzhuk and even soutzouki, sujuk is one of the world’s most delicious and ancient types of sausage, so if you are a fan of meat prepare to meet a snag you will never forget. Here we will take a closer look at what sujuk is, where it comes from and what makes it so special.
Sujuk is a type of dry, spiced sausage that is somewhat similar to salami, with its three main characteristics being that it is salty, dry and has a high fat content. It is traditionally made using ground beef (though mutton, pork and even horsemeat have also been used) and it is combined with spices such as garlic, salt, cumin, sumac and red pepper before being piped into a sausage casing. Sheep or goat intestines have historically been the casing of choice, though nowadays both natural and artificial sausage casings are used. Once encased, sujuk is dried for at least three weeks before it is considered ready to consume.
The Turkish are widely believed to have been the first to make sujuk and while the exact date of this delicious invention is unknown most scholars believe it was at least several thousand years ago. After gaining prominence in Turkey, sujuk quickly spread throughout the Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and beyond, with each culture adding its own unique style and flavour. The main difference between types of sujuk tends to be the choice of meat as well as the level of spiciness involved.
While sujuk has been eaten in Lebanon for many years, it wasn’t until the early 1900’s that the practice became widespread and this was thanks in large part to a huge influx of Armenians from Turkey. The Armenians quickly established themselves as part of Lebanese society and their talent for making tasty sujuk wasn’t lost on the locals, with sujuk fast becoming a core element of traditional Lebanese food.
Raw sujuk is rather stiff, hard and challenging to chew, which is why most prefer their sujuk cooked. One of the most popular approaches is to eat it for breakfast, cut into slices and fried with eggs, and because sujuk has such a high fat content no additional oil is necessary for frying. In Lebanon it is often fried and eaten with tomatoes and a drizzling of garlic sauce in a pita, while others have used sujuk as a pastry topping, as is the case in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine and Israel. Sujuk makes a great addition to any barbeque, regardless of whether you grill it whole or add chunks of it to a skewer with your favourite vegetables, and sujuk also makes a truly incredible Lebanese pizza topping.
If all this talk about sujuk has awakened your appetite for something delicious, we can help; simply drop by Manoosh or order from us online. We have a wide variety of mouth-watering options for you to choose from and our sujuk pizza is truly out of this world.