Goan pork sausages continue to be a cherished delicacy amongst the diaspora
You can take a Goan out of Goa, but you cannot take his food habits out of him!
This column is dedicated to Goa’s feisty sausages, or choriz as they are called.
For me personally, nothing can surpass a meal of Goan fish curry rice, but Goan pork sausages are the next best and therefore considered high on my list of perfect comfort foods.
The choriz is an amped-up version of the Portuguese chorizo, which has a sweeter, less spicy flavour.
Strings of smaller, circular choriz are called rosary sausages. They look like large necklaces, like super-sized rosaries, or deformed rudraksh malas, an ominous red in the bright Goa sunshine.
Goan pork sausages are unique to Goa and everyone’s favourite even when they are out far away from their motherland.
They are made of chopped instead of minced pork, mixed with spices and then cured in the sun, and are usually cooked in a curry or in a rice-based dish like a pulao.
Due to the strict restrictions with Australian border control, Goan pork sausages cannot be brought into the country. Hence we depend on local entrepreneurs to satiate our need for Goan sausages.
Some of the notable people who cater to our Goan pork sausage cravings here in Australia include Dorelli Goan Portuguese sausages packed by Ellis Fernandes from Chandor, now based in Melbourne for the past 15 years, and Pinto’s Goan sausages packed by Mervyn Pinto originally hailing from Parra Mapusa but now based in Sydney. Jennifer Fernandes and her husband Francisco have been trying for the past four years to perfect the art of making sausages and have been catering to the Goan community in Brisbane.
In Perth, HR consultant and property developer Muriel Marshall caters not just to the community in her city but around Australia, but only through word of mouth.
Of course Australian cuisine has had sausages (or ‘snags’ as they are called) as one of its own highlights for decades. The family BBQ is a true-blue Aussie tradition that migrants learn to adopt as soon as they arrive here! Then there are the weekend sport sausages, fundraising sausage sizzles and election day sausages that are absolutely mandatory as part of the Aussie lifestyle. In fact, “sausage” is even a common term of endearment, as in “silly old sausage”!
You can pick from the German, chipolata, Spanish Chorizo or the Slovenian Kransky from your local supermarket, but if you’re a foodie, you probably prefer something more grown up like provincial French, Calbrese, Sicilian or Toulouse sausages. Or else, how about something posh like Peking duck sausage, or wagyu and caramelised onion, or chicken, corn and shallot? Or maybe a seafood sausage like barramundi? Emu sausage, anyone?
Throw in the Goan sausage, and we are spoilt for choice.
Of course there are a few Goan families here who still go through the laborious process of preparing pork sausages right from scratch, using locally sourced ingredients. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane’s resident Goans can avail of this luxury even though it comes at a cost.
A registered nurse at Adelaide’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Ana Lobo tells me that she prepares her Goan pork sausages once every year and serves them only on special occasions, such as when Goan guests come visiting.
Another Goan, Nelson Pereira has a globe-trotting work schedule, but still manages to make his own sausages too.
He moved to Adelaide a couple of decades back from Africa but has continued to prepare sorpotel and Goan pork sausages for family events.
As my better half would say, there is still hope for sausage lovers. If you put in the hard yards you can make them yourself. If I can have my wish, she has promised to make some preservative-free Goan pork sausages for me.