Slideshow SLIDESHOW: The Best of Chicago's Sausage City

Blake sampled 23 different sausages at Hot Doug's before picking his five favorite. [Photograph: Huge Galdones]

I know what you're thinking: "Why is the year in review coverage starting now!?" Sure enough, there is still a month and a half of 2012 left. But Serious Eats Chicago actually launched in mid November of 2011, so I have the right to get a little nostalgic about how the site has progressed. Sadly, it's also time to say goodbye to one of the weekly columns that's been a fixture since then.

When I was coming up with ideas for the Chicago site, one of the very first columns I had in mind was Sausage City, which I imagined as a celebration of the incredible encased meats that are made everyday in this city. And I also knew exactly who should write it: Blake Royer. Ever since he first attempted to cure sausage in apartment using a fridge he found on the street corner (don't worry, he cleaned it first), he's been a man obsessed with charcuterie. Sure enough, each week he led us to a different part of city in search sausages I didn't even know existed.

But as Blake mentioned yesterday, he's stepping down from the post to focus on other projects. I wish him the best. Luckily, we're all still left with a year of Sausage City posts to comb through. If you're looking for a place to start, this post should do it.

Check out the most popular Sausage City posts of the last year by clicking on the slideshow, or visit each one below.

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