#7 - Prosciutto & Fig Sausage - A Patriotic Title Fight

Wherever they end up, Figs always cause trouble.  Delicious, scrumptious, and delectably seedy, these trouble-making morsels seem to love being in the thick of it (sausage, that is) and S.P.'s most recent affair was no exception. 

Figs stole the show the last time they appeared on an S.P. spread, (see post #2 to be shocked by the lewdness), but this time their prowess for sowing chaos may have tripped them up in the end.  What exactly went wrong will doubtless be debated for generations - many have already speculated that the figs were simply overconfident - but what we can report here without conjecture is that, at the time of the stuffing, the figs were, by and large, drunk.

It all began when they decided, perhaps unwisely, to take a pre-stuffing dip in the hot tub with a racy Riesling.

The figs preemptively blowing off some steam with a Riesling.  [Editor's note: S.P. does not condone the practice of vinous prostitution, which remains illegal in the lower 48, and Hawaii, and is only allowed in Alaska "within spitting distance of a freshly dressed moose carcass."]

Certain folly for a rookie, but many veterans of the stuffing indulge themselves in similar fashion with no observable effect to their form.  Unfortunately, the figs did not behave like the veterans they are; it did not take long for them to lose their form.

"Seedy, steamy, and full of passion," is how one observer described what the figs were doing in the hot tub.  "They're not setting a very wholesome example for the young sausage ingredients out there," she added, before cutting to commercial.

There was no avoiding the inevitable inebriation of the figs.  The rabble did at least make for a rousing sight as they struggled from the tub.  [Editor's note: This publication is seeking to avoid the perennial inebriation of the sausage-maker, -stuffer, and -[insert verb here]er.  Any readers with knowledge or competence in the sausage-maker-delousing field are encouraged to contact the editors forthwith.]

In the end, it was all the figs could do to keep their feet. [Editor's note: The editors of this publication will allow any reader who proposes a workable alternative to the current sausage-maker to keep the feet of said sausage-maker as recompense... plus $50 cash.]
However, attributing their poor performance to the hot tub alone does a disservice to their noble foe in this fight.  If truth be told, the figs met their match in the greatest of all the many food products which had begun life as pork; an ingredient ennobled by curing salts, gentrified by spa treatments, and preserved by long hibernation in lushly appointed stone caves:  
Cool and confident, and wearing its trademark red coat, Prosciutto would prove a fearsome foe.
  • Pork Shoulder (meat + fat)
  • Prosciutto
    • Chunks for the grinder
    • Thin strips for the final stuffing

      Fruit, Cheese & Herbs
      • Mozzarella
      • Basil
      • Fig
        • Fresh figs reduced in Riesling for the grinder
        • Dried figs minced for the final stuffing

      The basil makes a valiant effort to separate the Prosciutto from the figs. 
      Even in this pre-stuffing shot, the simmering tensions are clearly visible
         Spices & Seasonings
      • Coarse Salt 
      • Cayenne 
      • Savory
      While the figs may have been too drunk to arrive on time, the prosciutto had never deigned to.  For those unfamiliar with the histories of the many Houses of Pork, it is widely known that the House of Shoulder, a close relative of House Boston Butt, were awarded lands and title by one of House Prosciutto's more philandering young princes after they provided crucial assistance in the resolution of some highly unethical business regarding a goat.  Now, it is one thing to fight alongside men-at-arms from the lesser houses of pork in the pitch of battle, when the noble- and common-ground fall together; to go through the vulgarities of drill with such commoners when no enemy is in sight... that is another thing entirely. 

      So, after waiting for the Shoulder men to go through an initial coarse grind and form up with the spices, minced basil, and mozzarella, the members of House Prosciutto joined the column.  Much to their chagrin, the figs chose (or otherwise happened upon) precisely this moment to stumble onto the ridge opposite them, dribbling liquid still visible on their overwrought doublets.  After a few moments to situate themselves, the Prosciutto commanders led the charge through the coarse grind again.

      "What a transition," one observer said of the change from grind #1 to grind #2, "it's almost as if they went through the grinder a 2nd time!"  [Editor's note: it is suspected that this observer joined the figs in the tub with the Riesling, and may not have been in the best state of mind to be commenting.]
      In the interstitial spaces between protein chains, the ground constituents of the sausage joined battle.  Accompanied by a host of lesser pork foot-soldiers, cushioned on a seat of satin-white mozzarella, and advised by a bevy of basil naturalists, the Prosciutto raged against the surrounding miasma of drunken figs.

      It was only an hour before the 2nd grind was over, ending the initial skirmishes with it.  As they made ready for the final stuffing, both fig and prosciutto called their reserves.  Marching to join the figs was a corps of old veterans, too dry to brook the effects of alcohol; galloping towards the proscuitto came a group of scouts, thin, strips of noble blood, light and quick, yet dangerous all the same. 

      In the end, the final sausage was not wholly free from the lush hue of the figs, but the aroma of the prosciutto was distinct; even the presence of bastard blood could not dilute the prosciutto's prominent nose, one of the finer features of that most noble of porcine lineages.  

      A coil of sausage, freshly riddled with the reserves: bits of dried fig and strips of ethereal prosciutto.
      There was nothing else for it.  Exhausted, both sides called an end to the hostilities so that a feast might be prepared, and terms discussed.

      All parties agreed that, "the aftermath o' the battle be far better than the beforemath."

      No one could ever accuse the figs of fighting 'bravely' in this stuffing.  In fact, they were cowards whose inebriation ultimately saved them.  I refer not to the numerous instances where a charging prosciutto lance missed the mark because the fig it was aiming at slipped (or lay down for a nap) at the last moment, but to the feast, and the terms decided therein.  Having begun the day inebriated, the Figs found it difficult to overcome their mounting headaches, to once again attain drunkenness.

      The red-coated prosciutto was under no such inhibitions; no sooner had they arrived at the feast than they began drinking in earnest, plunging headfirst into casks of fortified wine.  As their countenances turned a deeper red than their coats, their skill at negotiation (to say nothing of their general awareness) evaporated.

      By evening's end, the figs had negotiated terms of reverse surrender, contending that they and their fruity brethren had, in fact, won the day.  Bellowing over the words of caution offered by their lesser Porcine countrymen and naturalist advisers, the Prosciutto lords issued long streams of vowels punctuated by consonants that were far too few to form words, and then proceeded impugn the intelligence of the naturalists' mothers ("who names their son 'Basil' anyway?" one bystander was said to hear).  Seizing their chance at favorable terms, the figs immediately brought forth a document for signature.  In a last-ditch effort at preserving dignity, one of the lesser Porcine countrymen begged the lords of Prosciutto to reconsider, as this document was mostly blank, and appeared to printed on the back of a hot-dog case.  He was refused.  In fact, his summary execution may have been ordered, but by this point none of the sounds coming from the Proscuitto lords could be deciphered.  The main lord heaved a great breath, let out a long, racking belch, and collapsed face down on the document, leaving a long, greasy smear as his mark.

      And so ends this patriotic tale: a tale of how the Red Coats lost to a pack of oft-drunk, disorganized rabble-rousers with more guile than guts, and an unerring devotion to the pursuit of their own happiness.

      In truth, and with all unnecessary nonsense aside, this was another fine sausage, enjoyed at a sumptuous feast on the fourth of July.  As alluded to in the tale above, the prosciutto added a touch of class to the more baseborn ingredients, while the figs added a dose of sweet hedonism.  The mozzarella came through only as a soft backdrop, which is as it should be; I can't imagine a better cushion for my backside than an enormous block of mozzarella.  Not enough has been said to this point about the basil, which turned out to be crucial.  The palate recognizes that basil could be both sweet and savory, and so the basil provided a bridge between the savory prosciutto and the desert-sweet figs.  While extra heat by way of cayenne would not have gone amiss, it was also not necessary.

      Next Time: Do nothing differently.  Just make this delicious sausage again.


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