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The word is derived from a combination of met and ister, which respectively means pork and suet. It was first used in a Swedish housekeeping book from the early 16th century. The sausage itself has since changed; for example, the meat filling used to be hand-chopped with a knife while today it is chopped very finely by machine, giving the medister a different texture.
It is made in one long piece and then cut up into sections before serving. In contrast to many other types of sausage, it is cooked or fried for the first time during the final preparation, therefore it must be kept in the freezer if one wishes to store it for a longer time. The spices generally used are allspice, cloves, salt and pepper.