Sausage Casings (a.k.a. Pig’s Intestines)


If you do not believe in family planning or birth control, and/or are of the opinion that population growth is not a critical issue in the Philippines, simply skip this post and save yourself angst. You are strongly forewarned.

Did you know that some condoms are still made from the membranes of sheep/lamb intestines? How they shape the ends of such prophylactics is a mystery to me, as a longganisa type knot would seem a bit primitive, no? But stick with me a little longer on this post that melds pork sausage casings with an in-house lecture on birth control — a la Marketman. I have been wanting to experiment with our own home-made longganisa for a while, but was always stumped where to purchase reliable sausage casings. With Zubuchon’s accredited/licensed in-house slaughterhouse for the past year, I knew we could do it ourselves, but everything I had read about cleaning out intestines for sausage making seemed like a real turn-off. So while I would like to report that I overcame the hibbie-jibbies and prepared these casings myself, I most certainly did not. Totally chickened out. I asked our in-house butcher to just make me some extra clean sausage casings from a medium-sized pig instead.


We tend to have our pigs for a week or two before they are slaughtered and we control their diet, supplementing organic feed with fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Once slaughtered, the small intestines were washed thoroughly. They were then turned inside out and carefully but firmly scraped of the mucus or membrane inside the intestine. They were then washed again and again until the butcher felt they were squeaky clean, then blown up and tied and hung to dry indoors. After an hour or so, I had them dried outdoors in the sun (oddly, they did NOT attract flies). Then after two hours of drying in the sun, I had them dried high above a couple of roasting lechons, basically smoking them with some flavor hopefully. Now dried and a bit opaque but surprisingly strong, they were deflated, packed in a plastic bag with lots of natural sea salt and I brought them back to Manila and stuck them in our fridge. A few hours before using, I will soak them in water and change that water several times until I am convinced the casings are odorless and clean, then use them to make some longganisa. :)


Several of our crew members who care for the pigs, help in the lechonan, tend to our in-house crops of tanglad and other ingredients, are in their late teens and early twenties. And while they were making the sausage casings, a lot of ribbing was going on about birth control and unwanted or unplanned preganancies. To make a long story short, I decided this would be a good time to do a no holds barred discussion on birth control for anyone interested to hear it. My dad used to head the population commission in the Philippines several decades ago, at a time when serious attempts to reign in rampant population growth were underway, but efforts since then seem to have all gone downhill. At the time, Dad used to take me along to provincial sorties where we would explain the use of birth control to large groups of clueless men and even though I only did it a half dozen times (an early version of community service or what not), I can assure you it was a pretty simple yet useful thing to do. Be matter of fact, throw in some appropriate humor, and hopefully help folks who WANT to plan their families and ARE WILLING to use birth control methods to achieve their goals. Ever since those outings in my own teens, I have always felt very strongly that population is a MAJOR issue facing our country and unless we did something to slow the growth (along with efforts on education, nutrition, corruption, etc.) then we would never progress and improve our average incomes and quality of existence. That is just MY personal opinion and some or many of you may disagree, but that’s what I think. So I do take it upon myself whenever possible to make sure people are better informed of birth control choices. What they chose to do or not do with the information is completely up to them. And frankly, you would be surprised how LITTLE our teens and young adults know.

These days, I start off these information sessions with a simple fact — the minimal cost to raise a child from birth to 18 years old in lower middle class conditions that assume just the minimal caloric intake, a roof over their heads, clothing, medical care, schooling, etc. is roughly PHP1 million. ONE MILLION PESOS or roughly PHP60,000 per year in today’s peso value. If you want a more realistic figure, think PHP2-3 million given inflation et al. I know, I know, the hair on the back of some of your necks is rising with indignation, Marketman boiling down the joy of bringing human life onto this planet into pesos and centavos. But it is an irrefutable fact that if you are responsible for making them, you are indeed fully responsible for ensuring that they are fed, housed, clothed, educated, etc. Boiling it down to a peso figure always seems to wake up youngsters listening, as a careless romp now seems like a million peso gamble. To make a long story short, I explained the different types of birth control for men (with condoms and appropriately sized bananas for demonstrations). We discussed the responsibility that comes with parenthood. Debunked the myths that seem to overwhelm medical facts. And basically seeked to simply educate, with the ultimate responsibility left with each individual how they wish to conduct their own personal affairs. See what the topic of sausage casings can lead to?


49 Responses

  1. “….if you are responsible for making them, you are indeed fully responsible for ensuring that they are fed, housed, clothed, educated”. AMEN to that!

  2. I agree with you, MM… population is a serious issue in the Philippines!!! And I’m really envious of your sausage casings. Penge!!! I wanted to my make my own longganisa too, copy the Lucban longganisa which is my favorite. I just can’t find the casings here in General Santos and the meat shop I go to sell theirs in bulk.

  3. I once bought some casings from the market, they are dried and yellowish, and smells like used oil, not like your crew’s products which are so clean and clear. Will you soon be producing longganisa? I’ll be looking forward to tasting your longganisa de Zubuchon! I love longganisa from Tuguegarao and Vigan. Soon there will be longganisa from Zubu!

  4. Longganisa is a childhood favorite of mine when I was growing up in Iloilo. Unfortunately, the taste of the longganisas I eat today doesn’t come close to what I eat back then.

  5. i’ve been looking for sausage casings for sometime but don’t know where they are available. i know they are sold in tight little rolls.

    sausage casngs and birth control? funny, but you’re right, MM. it’s scary how little correct information gets down to the grassroots, to young people especially, and i believe it’s about time the government makes a stronger definitive action to promote family planning and reproductive health. nice one, MM!

  6. Hog casing here in Brisbane is soooo expensive, AUD50 per kilo and that includes the packed salt that goes with it…even the pig’s blood here is expensive, 750ml container cost AUD$5. I prefer the natural hog casing then the artificial ones which once cooked they burst.

  7. I’ve always loved statistics, informing people about real/measurable facts and how it ultimately affects them. Information/Knowledge really does empower people.

    E.g. here: BBC’s “The Joy of Stats”

    … I wonder if the Philippines is plotted somewhere there.

    Kudos! and Thanks for the info MM. : )

    Now I would like to order an edible, longganisa-filled, toy-balloon-dog , plssss. hehe

  8. I like your tie-in to the post – pig casings, condoms, birth control. I agree with you, MM, on the blessing and responsibility – material and otherwise of raising children. And women should have a choice in family planning.

  9. Yeah, that’s what happens when you discuss sausage casings…. :-)

    I like what you said that having kids takes responsibility and that responsibility comes with feeding, providing shelter, clothing, etc

    That’s why I don’t understand some people who reason having a lot of children for being poor and in turn blames the government of not doing anything for them…it’s pathetic, really.

  10. i agree with you. absolutely.doing the math gives a face to the proponents of pro life that raising children is no joke at all!!

  11. I attended a seminar on longganisa making a few years back at the Spices and Foodmix House along E. Rodriguez Ave. in Q.C. and if I remember right, they sell synthetic sausage casings and frozen imported back fat. You might want to check it out.

  12. Great post!

    1) I’ve often wondered about the closed end of sheepskin condoms myself. Maybe it should be featured in an episode of “How Do They Do It?”

    2) Looking forward to your post about longganisa. What kind of longganisa do you like? I prefer the ones that are more tangy than sweet.

    3) Population control is definitely an issue for our time. And I agree with you completely, that education is key. I don’t agree with a heavy-handed approach like China’s one-child policy, but I do think that education about birth control methods should be universally available. Actually I think it should be universally mandatory.

    4) Talking about the Philippines specifically, I bet a lot of people don’t realize that the Philippines’ population is 1/3 that of the United States, and all of those people are crammed into a country whose land area is less than 1/32 the size of the US! Put it another way, the Philippines is the same size as the state of Arizona, but the population is 14 times bigger!

  13. Your community service continues with this “lecture”. I applaud you. Thanks for putting the peso and centavo value in print. I often wonder how my relatives do manage to raise their children and how much it cost to support those children.

    Rant: Then I read that Arnel Pineda charges 6.000 Pesos minimum in consumables + 600 pesos for entrance to his club… and people manage to go and seem to enjoy a night … that to me is close to $150. Go figure. There must be lots of citizens with unlimited incomes there too!

  14. I commend you for giving that lecture to your crew! I’ve given a version of that lecture to my helpers too (the younger ones). Unfortunately some of them just don’t listen to me! HAY.

  15. so, who blows up those casings so that they can be dried? =) can I order mine shaped like a dog, just like ros requested? =)

  16. The problem with local hog casing is consistency of the diameter (leading to irregularly sized sausages) and thickness of the membrane (which leads to frequent breakage and long downtime during stuffing). Collagen casings on the other hand don’t provide the same flavor as a animal casings do. So if thet sausages will form part of the zubuchon line (and if you can price in the higher costs of the guaged casings) i suggest that you seek out a supplier for guaged imported natural hog casings. I had a supplier many years ago but have since lost contact tho i did see the stuff once at S&R. But if these longganisas are to be used purely for home consmption then the stuff you harvest from your lechon raw marterial should do fine.

  17. Ps. If you don’t already have one, you may want to get a sausage stuffer attchment for your kitchen aid. Trying to stuff sausages manually, especially if they break a lot (i have no idea why the imported casings are of much better quality) is the logic behind the existence of longganisang hubad.

  18. F, I have a sausage stuffer attachment. Now I just have to locate it. As for commercial production, that would be months away if at all… and yes, a consistent supplier would be nice. As with the imported pigskin I used for chicharon experiments, I did hope to use as much local product as possible, but it isn’t consistently available nor is the quality consistent either… I guess the same applies to hog casings… Thanks.

  19. Cool. Just attach it to the grinder and fill a tube of casing. Tie the links when you have the long tubes. A good distribution between lean meat and fat in a suasage is about 70-30. If you carve and grind a whole pigue, you will find that you will get close to that proportion each time. Try curing the ground spiced meat a day or two in the ref before stuffing and cure the just stuffed sausages in a cool place for another day – this helps binding even without the use of natural or artificial binders. Hot smoking after last curing/drying stage adds another flavor dimension as well as further improves binding.

  20. The photos remind me of those slender balloons that end up taking the shape of a doggies and funny hats done by the nimble hands of a clown at the local shopping mall. I rather do enjoy homemade longganissa and have wondered if this Filipina chacuterie could be incorporated into other recipes. Hawaiian chili comes to mind…substituting linguicia with longganissa.

    @Eden & Joey – I think ‘lecture’ is a bit of a strong word for a discussion between MM and his crew. If I remember right, its bad manners to lecture adults.

    @Ros – Despite statistics, the numbers won’t measure up to a hill of rice if your audience does not have the same appreciation as you. Working in the health education we use of a number statistics, biostatistics, epidemiology and morbidity/mortality data to show progression of a health issue as well as efficacy of interventions to address it. The challenge is being able to take the numbers and being able to educate and motivate the target audience. I would imagine that in the Philippines, especially in places like Tondo or outlying provinces, that this would be a challenge.

  21. F, making fresh sausages, as I don’t want to use pink salt or nitrates just yet. So the 70/30 mixture has been in the fridge overnight already, with a mixture of lots of garlic, organic ilocos sea salt, pepper, dried labuyo flakes (just a hint), sweet paprika for a touch of color and flavor, a bit of sifted dark muscovado sugar… later today I will grind and mix with chilled sukang ilocos and stuff away… :) I used pork shoulder/butt and mixed in a bit of fatback in an eyeballed approach to the 70/30 meat/fat mixture. I have made these before, hubad, but now is the first time I will be using natural casings… :)

    Getter Dragon 1, I have had a brilliant bowl of pasta with longganisang hubad at Mamou… yum.

  22. Getter, I did not realize that lecture is considered bad manners. I am of the understanding that lecture is an oral presentation to convery critical information. Sorry if I offended anyone in my choice of words.

  23. Was it sponsored by durex :) …. A smoked vigan longganisa is something that I’ve been longing to do.

  24. Eden and Getter, no issue at all, I consider a lecture in its range of applications, from a stern reprimand in my parents generation, to a lecture as in a professor in a university or secondary school class…

  25. MM, your blog certainly covers a wide variety of topics! Who knew that birth control would be one of them?!?!?!

    On birth control, I had dinner with a friend I had not seen in years and inquired about her sons who are now both in their late teens. She mentioned that they were ok and her eldest already had a girlfriend. I jokingly said that I hope she or her husband had “the talk” with their son. She then said that they do not think they need to go into details, but that she already told her son to be careful and that he has to think about his future and to think about the consequences, etc. In short, a philosiphical lecture, not really a practical one. Neither she nor her husband have really talked openly about contraceptives.

    My disclaimer here is that I have no children and I do no know what I would do if I were a parent. Also, my own parents never really had “the talk” with me either. However, I would like to think parents of today would be open enough to talk about these things with their kids. If this is really an important topic, why not let your kids know that this is not a taboo topic and they can approach their parents for information? Why risk letting your own kids get bad information from friends or the internet?

    I shared my thoughts with her and her reply was — how can I tell my kids that I don’t want them to have premarital sex, but here, let me teach you how to use a condom anyway…just in case. Contradictory nga naman.


    Anyway, those really look like clean casings. :-)

  26. Junb, it was TRUST, not durex, and only PHP15 for a package of three, strawberry flavored to boot. :) acmr, I say more information is better.

  27. You might want to consider using a minimal amount of nitrates, not only as a preservative in a country where refrigeration is sketchy, but also because it contributes to taste and appearance. You could become a one man pig products conglomerate very soon…

  28. sister, you have to see the results, up soon, they are really nice for a first try… and yes, I have the pink salt on standby for future experiments… :)

  29. When husband and I attended our pre-wedding marriage/birth control seminar at the QC hall 6 years ago, we encountered such unbelievable inquiries (at least to me) about contraception. One man asked if condoms should be taken like a pill and another man asked if it was true that an uncircumcised penis cannot impregnate a woman.

    I agree that education on birth control is a must in our society.

  30. Hehe, you are right…not lecture :) On my part (with my helpers) it’s more like a woman to woman facts of life talk (not just about birth control actually) :)

  31. I seem to recall that one of the reasons why Cardinal Rosales never criticized GMA was because of her opposition to the RH bill. I think Catholics should be able to vote for their own cardinal. I think the current one has his hat on backward.

  32. MM…I was snacking on cold soy chicken yesterday when I thought about your longganisa…want to experiment on different flavours? I think a 5 spice infused light soy plus atouch of kecap manis in the longganisa would be good, no? Oh, another one…lemongrass with patis, and other stuff like the paste for the Lemongrass chicken, no?

  33. What type of longganisa are you planning to make, mm? I enjoy the savory types like those from baguio(tuviera? The butcher who popularized the blend) cabanatuan ang alaminos. The sweet versions from down south don’t excite me much. A garlicky, pepperry, coarse grind sisig longganisa in the works? sign me up for a kilo!

  34. After reading all of this, parang ayoko na yatang kumain ng longganisa :) very true MM, information is the keyword. Educating the populace is the best way of giving them a choice and a chance for responsible parenthood.

  35. hi mm–
    i agree with you re: birth control. and the state of education about reproductive health is appalling. my high school had very thorough discussions in biology class so i thought this applied to everyone. i was surprised to learn that my cousin (who was in her early 20s at the time) didn’t know what forms of birth control were available. neither her all-girls catholic school nor her married sister shared the info with her. haaay.

  36. I have a list of things that I want to cook and learn how to do. This is one of them. I envy you!!! Show us those beauties when you get around to it, please? Thanks MM!

  37. Thank you for bravely showing a rough calculation of expense in raising a child. A lot is quite offended by that. I always believe that every parent wanting to have additional child should take this seriously. Not happening I guess but worth a try. Many reckless couples deny this fact. A child is a blessing at bahala na ang diyos sa amin. Maiiraos din namin sila. Bakit ang mga magulang namin napagtapos kami lahat? Gone where the days that a simple couple can raise 7 to 8 children with ease. Life is so simple then. Today, I see couples with 2 to 3 children studying in good schools but are heavily indebted. Why? Because of poor planning. Whew! what a side topic you have there! It’s more interesting than the sausage casing. You’re truly unique Marketman. Thanks for that!

  38. Good day, Im selling imported hog casing. We have different sizes that may suite your needs.. We also sell meat processing ingredients. You my want to call us @ 02 4552379, cel no. 09178355520 . We offer the lowest price depending on volume orders. You may also email me at thanks. Roy Zafra of Midas Meat and Commodities Co.

  39. I’m glad I helped somewhat in the population control by being childless by choice, which some people couldn’t understand, esp. my older aunts in the Philippines who keep asking me “sino’ng mag-aalaga sa ‘yo pagtanda mo?” I didn’t wanna answer back since they won’t get it anyway so I just kept quiet. My husband and I will be married 18 yrs next month and we have a full life, along with our 4-legged baby. Some folks just can’t get the fact that you get married for companionship and not for procreation. To each his own na lang, I guess. :-)

  40. i inquired and the imported hog casings are available in sm supermarkets :) i haven’t bought any, but i’m planning to cook up some longganisa of my own :) i’m gonna try the lucban longganisa, which i did before already to barely satisfactory results :) trial and error!

  41. Hi, I am a chef from the UK just moved here to get married, I am looking to start a small sausage making bussiness, making traditional English sausage, can anyone point me in the right direction to by a cheap sausage stuffer, casings and grinder, my funds are limited as I live off my army pension here. Any help would be great thanks


  42. We are one of the biggest producers and direct exporters of natural sausage casings in China.
    We mainly supply salted hog/goat/sheep casings and relative products made in China. Our casings have been exported to many countries in Europe,Asia,America and Africa.
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    Our main factory in Rugao is specialized at hog casings while our branch factory in Xuzhou at sheep/goat casings.
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    In 2008, our new factory (Nantong Renshou Foods Co.,Ltd. / Approval Veterinary No. of EU: 3200/05008) for imported casings (hog & sheep) raw materials was finished where we can select 20000 hanks per day.
    If you are interes ted in our products or have some raw materials to be selected,contact me directly please. We shall send you our best offers for your reference.
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    Frank Gu

    cell phone: 0086-1360-1497-369
    Rugao City Qingfeng Casing Co.,Ltd.
    Jiangsu Prov.,China
    Tel: 0086-513-87504299,87508869
    Fax: 0086-513-87502719,87517520

  43. @41, it may sound a bit disconcerting, but the intestines were washed several times and “scraped” on the interior side and washed again. Then one end of the intestine was tied up, and the other end attached to a small pipe or very large straw and blow into them, tie them up and dry in the sun. Store buried in rock salt in the fridge. You need to re-hydrate before using…

  44. Good afternoon. We offer the halal caw’s and ran’s intestines from arabic country from manufacture of Egypt for your own manufacture or wholesales in your country.
    We can sell to any countries you want (FOB) any quantity. And can help with delivery too if you will need. Calibration-sort 14 A / 16 A / 18 A / 20 A / 22 A / 24 A / 26 A/ 28 A. Quality is extra class. Representatives of this goods for sale:
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