My aunt and godmother, Margarida was getting married. I was very little then, maybe 5 years of age? I remember quite clearly all the preparations for the wedding. She was getting married to a rich ‘Dubaicar’ from Carambolim, Old Goa. For the ‘saguad’, my grandmother had decided to call the ‘choriskars’ (Sausage-makers) to her place in Margao, to make 10,000 or more sausages. I don’t know how many hogs were butchered for the same. A make-shift ‘pandal’ (Shelter of fabric) of old discarded bedsheets draped over a bamboo structure was made for the 3 experts. My mother’s long folding-table which was normally used for cutting cloth, was set under the shelter and covered with a linoleum sheet. After several hours of cutting the meat, the freshly cubed meat lay piled a mile high, ready to be salted and stuffed in the thoroughly cleaned hog intestines. These were not going to be the bite-sized ‘rosary’ sausages but more like the Portuguese ‘chorizo’ sized ones, only spicier and garlicky!
I still remember the grinding of the red chillies on the ‘rogddo’ (Stone grinder) and the pungent smell of the palm vinegar that gets absorbed into everything – hair, outer clothes, undergarments…just about anything!
I have passionately loved Goan sausages for the longest time. Even today (In Dubai), this post has been sparked by the wafting aroma of ‘sausage-pulao’ (The sausages were lovingly brought for us by our cousin Sheldon from Goa) into the living room where I was contemplating on what to post next on my blog.
I still remember the lay of our Margao as well as our Utorda kitchen quite vividly. The timber bar that used to hang over the fireplace would have many strings of sausages, drying out and getting smoked for days on end. In a traditional ‘choriscar’s’ house (Like ‘Bakar’ from Madel-Margao), there would be a separate hut with red, hot, burning coals below and thousands of sausages strung out on horizontal poles for the drying/smoking process. The coals were periodically stoked and firewood added as and when the coals started dying out.
The process of making sausages is a tedious one but I hope the art of Goan sausage-making never dies! Yes, we complain that these sausages are getting more and more expensive day by day but then think of the alternatives – would you rather eat the bland western bratwurst and sweetish chorizo instead?