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Saaser Hauswürste
Saaser Hauswürste

The secret of the Saaser Hauswurst (homemade sausage)

Homemade, dry-cured sausages are a specialty throughout the Valais Alps. But there is only one Saaser Hauswurst. And the recipe is top secret.

Throughout history, the Saas Valley has often been struck by poverty, and so here, more so than elsewhere, typical meat dishes like sausages were packed out with vegetables. So much so that some claim that it’s acceptable to consume Saaser Hauswürste on a Friday, traditionally a day of abstinence. It is, after all, a substantially meatless sausage.

Local legend has it that there was a once a man from the Saas Valley who always made his Hauswurst according to the same recipe, in the same size batch, to make exactly 100 sausages. When suddenly, a batch of his sausages produced only 99, he stopped to think about what he was missing. And it dawned on him: the meat.

There’s little certainty around exactly how much meat should be contained in a traditional Saaser Hauswurst. Only those who actually make them can know, and family recipes are closely guarded secrets. That said, basic ingredients are generally considered standard, like beef, pork, bacon, salt and various herbs and spices, potatoes, leeks, and beetroot. The latter gives the sausage its distinctive crimson color; made so, it’s said, to give it the look of a typical meat sausage.

No matter what they are made of, the Saaser Hauswürste are a real delicacy. Place thinly sliced on a piece of Valais rye bread, and let it melt in your mouth while you ponder its secrets.