ÉCAL's The Future Sausage exhibition explores alternatives to meat consumption

Alternatives for meat consumption to be explored by ÉCAL during Milan design week

A molecular chef, a master butcher and a designer from Swiss university ÉCAL are exploring sustainable forms of meat consumption with an exhibition of insect bangers and other intriguing sausages.

Taking place during Milan design week at the Salone Satellite – an area of the Salone del Mobile dedicated to emerging design talent – The Future Sausage exhibition forms part of a research project conducted by ÉCAL Master Product Design graduate Carolien Niebling.

Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
The Future Sausage exhibition forms part of a research project conducted by Carolien Niebling. Photograph by ECAL/Noortje Knulst

Intended to spark discussion around the overconsumption of meat and the strain that it puts on the planet's resources, ÉCAL's exhibition focuses on sausages as “one of mankind’s first-ever designed food items, conceived to make the most of animal protein in times of scarcity”.

Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
Blood sausage is traditionally eaten with apple, and here the two ingredients are combined in one sausage

The exhibition will showcase a series of inventive sausages made in collaboration with master butcher Herman Ter Weele from Dutch butchers Slagerij Ter Weele and molecular chef Gabriel Serero from Lausanne-based restaurant Conte-Goûts, using designs, ingredients and techniques outlined in a book by Carolien Niebling. Sausage tasting will be available at the stand.

"Today, sausages remain a cornerstone of our food culture," said Niebling. "England alone has over 470 different types of breakfast sausages, and in Germany there are even sausage laws, dictating specific rules for the making of sausages."

Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
The mild liver is combined with a tangy and sweet raspberry gel

"Now, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, we are facing a serious shortage of protein-rich food," she continued. "Meat, in particular, will be scarce."

"One reason for this is overconsumption: in today's world, we simply consume too many animal products. So, I wonder, can we look to sausages to provide a solution once again?”

Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
The insect pate is dipped in beeswax to prevent it from discolouring and to increase its shelf life

Exhibited sausages include various insect-based recipes and some made from unusual cuts of meat. An insect flour and a tonka-bean infusion is dipped in beeswax to prevent it from discolouring and to increase its shelf life.

Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
Traditionally, liver-based foods are eaten with a fruit-based accompaniment, as in this sausage

Inspired by the tradition of consuming liver-based foods with fruit-based accompaniments, Niebling has designed a sausage that combines mild liver with a tangy and sweet raspberry gel.

Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
A sausage designed to accompany cheese and fruit, with the addition of the lean single- muscle meat of the heart

Meanwhile, a sausage made from heart meat is designed to be eaten with cheese and fruit.

Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
An accompanying book written by Niebling is available for pre-order

An accompanying book written by Niebling is available for pre-order from 4 April until 14 May at the Future Sausage website.

The Future Sausage exhibition will be on show at Salone Satellite, Hall 22-24, Stand S02.

In addition to The Future Sausage, ÉCAL will be hosting a number of other exhibitions during Milan design week, including collaborations with IKEA and Punkt.

Photography is by Jonas Marguet unless otherwise stated

More images

Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
Photograph by Emile Barret
Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
Photograph by Emile Barret
Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition
Photograph by Emile Barret
Milan: ECAL Future Sausage exhibition