Would you like a sauna sausage? That’s what I was asked when I was visiting some friends in Finland last summer. I had no idea what a sauna sausage was at the time although logic told me it was a sausage cooked in a sauna. It turned out I was absolutely right!
I was offered two different types of sausages, one had cheese in it and the alternate didn’t. Sauna sausages are called sauna Makkara in Finnish. I opted to try both. The sauna which my friends had was approximately a 3 hour drive north of Helsinki in the Finnish countryside at their summer cottage. The home sauna is located on a lakeside with picturesque views and not a car or any other man made noise to be heard. It was incredibly peaceful; quite an apt setting for my first sauna sausage experience!
The sauna had been heating up for about an hour and the sausages were on a metal plate which was suspended above the sauna stove. They were thick long plump sausages which had cracked from the great heat from the sauna stove below. The heat from the sauna stove had made the skin of the sausages nice; it was perfect. I ventured up onto the top bench of the sauna and lay down. I glanced up at the temperature, it was about 80 Celsius. I put two ladles of water from the bucket (loyle) onto the sauna stove, feeling the heat quickly flooding the entire sauna. It felt wonderful.
After 5 minutes I took a sauna sausage out of the sauna and sat on the decking wood looking out over the lake and pine forests. The sausage tasted fantastic and without a doubt the most special sausage I’ve ever had. I put the sausage down on the plate, swallowed my last bite and jumped in the lake; refreshing!
I climbed back out, ate the rest of my sausage and entered the sauna again. It was a perfect evening if you ask me! Sausages just simply taste better in saunas!