A long, thin, smoked sausage with a distinctive pink colour, normally sold in jars or cans. Traditionally made with finely minced lean pork and pork fat, the meat is mixed with a blend of spices, sugar, garlic and onion and other flavourings before being encased in skins (usually lambs’ intestines). The addition of saltpetre (potassium nitrate) was what originally gave frankfurters their distinctive pink colouring.
Nowadays, frankfurters come in many guises and may include beef or other meat. They range from sausages made with cheap, processed, low-quality meat with additives, colouring and flavouring, to high-quality pure meat frankfurters containing only a few natural spices.
Frankfurters are usually sold either cooked, smoked or cured and should normally be reheated before serving. Try boiling, grilling, steaming, frying or barbecuing them. In the States they are popular street food, served in soft buns and known as hot dogs.
Article by Louisa Carter