Spices that are commonly used in sausages include pepper, sage, allspice, marjoram and thyme. Normally, sausages take ground spices; however, whole spices such as coarse pepper, whole peppercorns, bay leaves and pickling spices can be used, as well.
When deciding between ground and whole spices, its important to consider the appearance and flavor that the spices imbue in the sausages. Whole spices are generally more noticeable than ground spices and may release a more mild flavor to the sausage. Grounded spices incorporate completely into the sausage meat and therefore go unnoticed aesthetically. However, because their surface area is greater, grounded spices release much more flavor into the sausage than whole spices. A general rule of thumb is that the chosen sausage spices should only make up about 0.1 to 0.2 percent of the total sausage material.
Allspice is frequently used in sausages. It is also known as Jamaican pepper, English pepper and pimento. The spice is not a mixture of various spices, as the name appears to apply. However, it is a single spice made from the grounded up berry of the Pimenta dioica plant. Allspice is used in all kinds of sausage recipes, including liver sausage and mettwurst. Mettwurst is a German sausage that also includes ginger, mustard and coriander spices. The sausage is made from ground beef and pork and has a spreadable consistency.