What Is Sucuk?
Sucuk—also spelled sujuk or soudjouk—is a Turkish national dish. Variations of it are also found in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle East. It is known as sudzhuk in Bulgaria and Russia, suxhuk in Albania, and soutzouki in Greece.
Turkish sucuk is usually made with ground beef, though some butchers add a bit of lamb for more flavor. Further east, in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, sucuk may also contain horse meat. As Turkey has a large Muslim population, pork is not used.
Sucuk is a semi-dried beef-based sausage made by a dry-curing process. Ground meat is well mixed with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, sumac, and other common Turkish spices. The mixture is then piped into natural or plastic sausage casings and left to dry for several weeks. During this curing period, the salt and other spices ferment with the ground meat, creating a chemical reaction that changes the molecular structure, flavor, and consistency of the meat, and also acts as a preservation agent.