From slivers of snout to pigs trotters, there are endless rumours about what ends up in a sausage.
But Dicksons, one of the oldest sausage-making companies in the North East, has revealed to Sky Tyne and Wear exactly what goes into theirs.
And there are no nasty suprises, with pork cuttings, seasoning, water and black pepper the only ingredients in their high meat content sausages.
The pork used is the off-cuts from a leg of pork. After the bones, the main cuts and any unsavoury veins are removed from the leg, the rest is made into sausage.
The company also order cuts of pork shoulder which they add to their sausage mince and flavour with their secret seasoning.
Owner Michael Dickson explained where the horror stories surrrounding sausage ingredients have come from.
"I think it was during the war when people needed were desperate for anything edible. They would use reclaimed meat, pork rind and pork emulsion."
Some of the earliest sausage makers salted tissue, organs, blood and fat and stuffed them into intestines or stomachs in order to preserve the meat and make it last longer
"A good butcher was said to use everything but the squeak, and some good companys in France and Germany still continue that practice."
Lower meat content "traditional" sausages produced by the company also include rusk, which is made from breadcrumbs.
Most sausages available in supermarkets are made using rusk which helps create the texture of the sausage and holds the mixture together.
Dicksons' sausage mixture is piped into sheep intestines, which give the sausage its shape and forms a crispy skin when cooked.
Some fat from the pork is included in the sausages as the company says it makes the meat "more succulent".
Legally sausages must contain at least 42 per cent meat. Dicksons manufacture sausages containing between 65 and 85 percent meat.
The Dicksons sausage ingredients are almost identical those used in the company's original recipes dating back as far as the 19th century.
The only difference is the seasoning which has been developed for Dicksons by a company in Yorkshire.
Passed down through the Dickson family, the traditional recipes now belong to Michael Dickson and his daughter Elena.
The company as it exists today was established shortly after the war, and is due to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2013.
Dicksons make around 10 tons of fresh and cooked sausages per week, with one ton of those their traditional hand-linked pork sausage.
The company also now make gourmet sausages including beef and horseradish sausages, and pork and sweet chilli pepper sausages.
Mr Dickson said: "There will be a market for that, but there will also always be a market for the traditional, versatile sausage you can use in toad in the hole and an English fry-up."
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