In Australia, the democracy sausage, also known as a democracy snag, is a sausage sandwich traditionally served at polling stations during elections.
A democracy sausage is essentially a sausage in a piece of bread, served with a choice of condiments. The sausage is typically a pork or beef sausage cooked on a barbecue or grill. The bread is usually a white bread roll, but it can also be a slice of bread or a hot dog bun.
The sausage may be topped with ketchup, mustard, and relish. Some polling stations even offer additional toppings, such as grilled onions and bacon.
This snack has become a symbol of Australian democracy, and its popularity has grown significantly in recent years. It’s such a significant part of Australian culture that the term ‘democracy sausage’ was selected to be the 2016 word of the year by the Australian National Dictionary Centre.
The Origin of the Democracy Sausage
The origin of the democracy sausage can be traced back to the 1980s, when sausage sizzles became a popular fundraising event for schools and community organizations.
During these sausage sizzles, polling stations started selling sausage sandwiches to voters. The idea quickly became popular, and soon other polling stations were also selling these sandwiches.
In 2010, a website was set up in Brisbane to allow groups to post about their election day sausage sizzle fundraisers to help voters locate them.
By the 2016 federal election, the democracy sausage had become a national phenomenon, with polling stations across the country serving up sausage sandwiches to voters.
Although the democracy sausage is a national tradition, there are regional differences in preparation and serving styles. In some areas, such as Tasmania, the sausage is served on top of onion and sauce layered onto the bread, while in other areas, such as South Australia, the sausage is placed into the bread first and the sauce and onions are added on top.
The taste of the democracy sausage also varies depending on the type of sausage used and the condiments chosen. Some voters prefer a classic beef sausage with ketchup and mustard, while others choose a spicier sausage, topped with onions and relish.
The democracy sausage is often enjoyed with a cold beer, making it the perfect way to celebrate after voting.
While the democracy sausage is unique to Australia, there are similar dishes in other countries that have a similar cultural significance. In the United States, for example, the hot dog is a popular snack often associated with baseball games and Fourth of July celebrations. In the United Kingdom, the sausage roll is a beloved snack that is often eaten on the move.
In Australia, the democracy sausage is more than just a sausage sandwich; it is a symbol of democracy and community across the country. This beloved tradition has become an important part of Australian culture, and it continues to bring voters together during elections.