Cervelas de Mont Plaisant

aux pistaches et graines de poivre noire

Mount Pleasant Cervelas

with pistachios and black peppercorns

Behold the cervelas. An emulsified French pork sausage which varies regionally in terms of content and cookery. Certain Alsatian preparations call for the sausage be smoked or have it stuffed with gruyere and wrapped in bacon.Ouf.  In this comestible prototype the cervelas is a “white” emulsified pork sausage with pistachios, black peppercorns, fatback and spices stuffed into a beef middle.It is cooked in seasoned water for an internal temperature of 150˚.

Those in Lyon may season the forcemeat with truffle and pistachios and boil it. It can be served either hot or cold.Cervelas is roughly equivalent to the Italian cervelatta, though the Calabrian version includes white wine and chili, not to be confused with Puglian variety which is a fresh sausage flavored with cooked wine, fennel seeds and grilled.Ultimately, the cervelas is a smaller version of the Italian mortadella, the later stuffed into beef bung caps whereas the smaller former use hog casing. Cervelas are also made from beef, veal, horse, duck and fish.

The Swiss cervelas traditionally used, almost exclusively, Brazilian zebu casings, which were deemed the best, however recent European Unions regulations have banned the import of Brazilian beef since the World Organization for Animal Health listed Brazil as a country with BSE risks.

While the name is derived from the Roman renaissance term for sausage cervelattofrom the diminutiveLatin word for cerebrum (brain)since back in the day, cervelas allegedly used to contain brain, according to the CICT (Centre d’Information des Charcuteries-produits Traiteurs)

Hopefully this one, albeit humbler than the one served at Per Ser,will earn a better criticism. Personally, the final product’s initial shortcomings were that the forcemeat could have benefited from slightly less water and perhaps cooked a bit longer and to a higher temperature of 160.