I was born and raised in a French Canadian community as an outsider. I grew up feeling like an outsider of the Portuguese, Canadian and French communities of my past. I am a hyphen.
However, I do feel connected to the Portuguese side of the hyphen through food.
A symbol of this is when I am blessed with the pleasure to help my parents make sausage. It is an experience that is filled with stories about my grandparents who I have never met and what it was like growing up in the old country. Sausage making is a project where all available hands are appreciated. It is a lot of work and a lot of fun.
There is an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. Well, the same can be said with making sausage, it takes a village and lots of love to make homemade sausage. It is love of family and good food that makes one sit for hours to stuff sausages by hand.
Sonia Nolasco wrote a beautiful piece, Chouriço: Connecting the New and Old World through Smoked Sausage, and captures what sausage making means to the Portuguese culture. I recommend the culinary trip into this wonderful tradition. Nolasco even shares her family recipe (close to our family recipe, but we use red wine).