The regulations governing the composition and labelling of raw boerewors, raw species sausage and raw mixed-species sausage, to be exact, is very specific about what boerewors should and shouldn’t have in it.
This is what boerewors should be made up of, legally:
Yes, legally refers to in South Africa, but we are South African or from Africa so surely the same rules should apply anywhere in the world?!
Meat content – beef with lamb, pork or a mixture of the two – of no less than 90 percent, and a fat content of no more than 30 percent.
It may contain no offal, except in the casing, and no mechanically recovered meat, which is pulped muscular tissue, collagen, marrow and fat. Not something too many people would consider appealing.
The only permitted additives are cereal products or starch, vinegar, spices, herbs, salt “or other harmless flavourants”, permitted food additives and water.
If you see the word "Boerewors" outside of South Africa read the label or contact the website prior to purchase and make sure you are actually getting what you think you are paying for!
If you see the word “braaiwors” on a pack, at an apparently good price, don’t assume you’re getting a bargain – it’s called braaiwors instead of boerewors because it contains allot of soya, bread or other extenders/fillers which mean the product is a lot less meaty, and usually allot more fatty, hence the lower price.
You will be very surprised how little of the "boerewors" sold in the UK is actually true boerewors!
Most "boerewors" is actually the far more inferior “braaiwors” which is made more appealing to customers by the addition of flavours such as chilli, chakalaka, cheese, garlic, and sosatie.
In a nutshell:
It must have a mix of beef with pork or lamb or beef with a lamb pork mix with no less than 90% meat.
Just beef? Not boerewors!
More than 10% rusk, wheat, bread soy etc (filler or extenders)? Not Boerewors!
Not a natural casing? Its up for debate if an artificial casing with the correct ratios should be called boerewors but who wants to eat something made from collagen, cellulose, or even plastic?
If you would like to give making your own a go you can find a good recipe here
Information gathered from: Regulations Governing the Composition and Labelling of Raw Boerewors, Raw Species Sausage and Raw Mixed Species Sausage under Government Notice No. R. 2718 of 23 November 1990 in terms of section 15(1) of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act No. 54 of 1972), iol.co.za, butchersweb.co.uk