From the Back of the Drawer: The Hobart Grinder


Stephanie Jane Carter

Each week, we rummage through the dark corners of our kitchen drawers to bring you an enigmatic item. We ask you to guess what it is in our weekly From the Back of the Drawer puzzle. To enter this week’s puzzle, visit this page. To read more descriptions of past items, visit this page. And, don’t forget to donate your odd items to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

This week, we found a Sausage Stuffer and Grinder (our drawers are pretty big)!

Sausage doesn’t seem so grand diced up in a pot of day glow, instant macaroni and “cheese” or when it humbly lies in wait next to the sunny side up eggs at the local diner. Of course, there is the other end of the spectrum – when sausage takes center stage. We sandwich it between bread and top it with relish at that all American pastime – the baseball game. For some fans, the whole affair is as much about the frankfurter as it is about the game. It is hard to imagine a fall football get-together without an array of sausages catching flames on the backyard grill or outside the stadium.

There must be a reason that it makes an almost necessary appearance at sporting events. Oh, it could belong with these sports because sausage seems like convenience food – an easy to cook, no fail, delicious meal. Or it could be because sausage is warrior food. It is the food appropriate to physical battles taking place in arenas. Its place over the fire offers a primordial comfort. In what may be that in its first appearance in literature, it is actually used to describe the warrior. Odysseus lies in his bed

rolling from side to side
as a cook turns a sausage, big with blood
and fat, at a scorching blaze, without a pause,
to broil it quick

Homer’s Odyssey (XX: 24-27)

Sausage was not born of convenience. It belonged to the field of garde manger and charcuterie – it was the cook’s answer to all of those unpalatable and extra pieces of meat on the animal. It was food that could be cured and salted, allowing for nourishment when meat was scarce. Before electric grinders, it was cumbersome to make. Products like the Hobart electric meat grinder and sausage stuffer allowed the delicacy to be mass produced. Our model “packs a quarter horsepower…but lacks some of the pieces, such as the hopper,” says SoFAB intern Justin Avellar. Even the tools to make sausage look strong enough for a warrior, don’t they?

Our Rating: An intense-looking power tool that looks as if it could still work today.

Design: Simple and powerful, like a warrior.

Originality: Sausage stuffing is not new. It has been practiced for thousands of years by multiple societies. This electric power tool makes stuffing easier and faster.

Practicality: If you want a powerful, and probably reliable, tool to help stuff your sausage, this is the way to go.

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