A vienna sausage (German: Wiener Würstchen, Wiener, Viennese/Austrian German: Frankfurter Würstel or Würstl, Swiss German Wienerli, Swabian: Wienerle or Saitenwurst) is a kind of sausage. The word Wiener means Viennese in German; in Austria the term Wiener is uncommon for this food item, as it identifies a type of cold cut.
As with any sausage, the ingredients, preparation, size and taste can vary widely by both manufacturer and region of sale.
In some European countries, cooked and often smoked wieners bought fresh from supermarkets, delicatessens and butcher shops may be called by a name (such as in German or French) which translates in English as "Vienna sausage". Traditionally, they are made from spiced ham. Wieners sold as vienna sausage in Europe have a taste and texture very much like North American "hot dogs" or "frankfurters", but are usually longer and somewhat thinner, with a very light, edible casing. European vienna sausage served hot in a long bun with condiments is often called a "hot dog", harking not to the wiener itself, but to the long sandwich as a whole.
In North America, the term "vienna sausage" has most often come to mean only smaller and much shorter smoked and canned wieners, rather than hot dogs. North American vienna sausages are mainly made from pork, but also meat such as beef, turkey and chicken (or blends thereof), finely ground to a paste consistency and mixed with salt and spices, notably mustard, then stuffed into a long casing, sometimes smoked and always thoroughly cooked, after which the casings are removed as with hot dogs. The sausages are then cut into short segments for canning and further cooking. They are also available plain (in a gelatin, similar to aspic) or with a variety of flavorings, such as smoke, chili or barbecue sauces.
In some regions (especially the American South) these canned versions of Vienna Sausages are colloquially referred to as "Veye-EEnna" sausages. They are a common staple in lunches for those working in the skilled trades (such as construction trades) due to their ability to be eaten without being heated, their portability, and stable shelf life in hot climates. They are often paired with saltine or Ritz Crackers.
- Canned food
- Frankfurter Würstchen
- Hot dog variations
- List of sausages
- List of smoked foods
- Potted meat food product
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