Smoked pork sausage - Isterband

Smoked pork sausage - Isterband is a sausage made from beef, pork, boiled potatoes or par-boiled pearl-barbley and sometimes broth. The characteristic sour taste comes from lactic acid bacteria, which is a key ingredient in this typical Swedish sausage.

Swedish isterband

Isterband was in the olden days very popular at Christmas dinners and buffets in southern Sweden. In Vetlanda this sausage was/is often referred to as "hanging sausages" - "hängekorv". And this because of its origin where the sausage hung to dry in front of the fireplace. It was this process which allowed the lactic acid bacteria to thrive and give the sausage its naturally sour flavor.

There are large variations, both for dried and smoked Isterband, as well as in terms of acidity, fat/meat content and saltiness. Isterband from Västergötland is more or less acidic and often smoked more heavily than Isterband from Småland.

Lammhult isterband
I prefer Isterband from Småland, like in the pic above. I didn't know, until I did a research for this page, that the sour taste comes from lactic acid bacteria, hm. Sounds a bit weird to me. But it does taste good.

Isterband from Småland is usually served fried in a frying pan with, for example, dill potatoes and pickled beets.

It is said that Isterband is the only genuine Swedish sausage, which has no counterpart in other countries.

A remarkable fact is that the word "Isterband" not is present in the Swedish Academy's Dictionary, although it is a common sausage and now spread far beyond the boundaries of Småland.

Milk stewed macaronisSwedish food isterband
I love to eat Isterband, again, with milk stewed macaronis (left pic), but also in the traditional way (right pic).

Another one of my favourite ways to eat it is as a sort of "Pytt i panna". Where I slice it and fry together with potatoes and onions in a frying pan. I then serve it with fried eggs, egg yolk must be loose for ultimate flavour, on top and pickled beets. Yummy, and super easy to make!


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