A quick disclaimer. I think sausages are the greatest culinary invention ever. They meat keep longer, they help meat go further, they utilise the less savoury parts of the animal and - last but by no means least - they taste great. Bearing this in mind I was over the moon to find them on sale in Thailand. I'd read about Thai sausages before but didn't realise they were quite so popular, literally on sale everywhere.
The first sausages I found were these rather fantastic pork and rice noodle ones. It's a fallacy a decent sausage has to be pure meat, whilst 50% rusk and water is bad a reasonable amount of filler helps loosen the sausage and improve the texture. This wasn't lost on the Thai folk and here alongside the meat we got strands of rice vermicelli. The sausages were heavily flavoured with garlic and ginger and had also been allowed to sour a bit, a most interesting twist. 2 served on a stick was maybe 40p.
Next up was the Chiang Mai sausage. Walking around the Chinatown market in Chiang Mai I was confronted by a swarming mass of people around a stall. Not wanting to miss out I joined the huddle and got to the front to find a freshly cooked pile of sausages disappearing rapidly before my eyes. I got involved and ended up with half a foot of dark link, like pork and red curry paste - heavily spiced and with a good, coarse minced texture.
The final sausage was the biggest surprise. By now I'd got used to the heavily spiced, sometimes sour and sometimes noodle filled sausages so when I saw a stall with a huge cartwheel of what looked like sausage balls I cracked on.
First bite let me know I'd bought something entirely different, whilst we had a sausage skin there wasn't any meat in sight. Here the skins were filled with rice, possibly cooked in stock but I'm pretty sure it went beyond stock to pork fat. They were meaty and rich in taste but just rice in texture. On the browned edged you were treated to a toasted rice flavour too. Fantastic.