La Jessica

My funny, although kinda embarrassing story of the plastic sausages.

Don’t worry! This isn’t another article about bad words, or anything of the sort. It’s just a funny kitchen fail that I wanted to share with you.

On a typically hot night in Cartagena, and a special night on top of it, I decided to prepare a special dinner for my boyfriend. I know I used the word special twice, but it really was a special night!

I had spent the whole day planning this romantic evening, buying all the necessary things to make one of my favorite ultimate comfort food dinners. Macaroni and Cheese with Hot Dogs. Normally I don’t cook meat at home, but sometimes my animal instinct kicks in, and I can’t help myself. In this case, they were giving out sausage samples at the store – they were delicious, and the packaging made me laugh! It’s a typical brand here in South America, called Cunit.

Needless to say, I bought a pack and I brought it home. Everything was perfect and I was so ready for my first homemade macaroni and cheese since I left the U.S. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was a staple in my diet for a long time, before I went all hippy and found a “healthier alternative” – Annie’s Organic Mac & Cheese.

Anyways, I had everything ready, and the last step was to slice the whole sausages that I was sauteing in a frying pan. I placed one on the cutting board, and cut it into perfectly symmetrical little rounds. Then, like every good chef, I popped one in my mouth for quality control. There’s a saying in Spanish, “El cocinero es siempre el que primero prueba” – which means that the chef should always try the food first. I’m sure we have a similar idiom in English. Suggestions?

Well, the first thing I noticed was a particularly chewy cover on this slice.

I’m used to sausages sometimes having a thick casing, but this one was particularly tough to swallow. I kept chewing and chewing, but this would not disintegrate. So I pulled it out of my mouth and it looked like straight up plastic. I tried again, just to be sure, before calling out to my boyfriend Andres in the other room. Before telling him what was up, I slipped a piece of sausage into his mouth, and then told him about this strange texture and flavor…he immediately spit it out! He looked at me like I was crazy, and started cracking up.

After about three minutes of hysterical laughter, he was able  to tell me that in Colombia and other Latin American countries, all of the sausages are individually wrapped in plastic, not just the plastic packaging! You have to individually peel the plastic off of all the sausages, hot dogs, and processed meats you buy here…before cooking them.

And there you have it, an embarrassing kitchen fail and the story of the plastic sausages. If you’re in Latin America, or at least in Colombia, and you want to prepare a meal with sausage, be careful! They are wrapped in plastic.