Summer Sausage, BeefSee more Meat, Eggs, Dairy
January 1 - December 31
N/A - N/A
The word sausage is derived from the French saucisse, which likely arose from the Latin word, salsus, meaning salted. Traditionally, sausage-makers would grind nutritious meat and animal parts that were not as highly valued - such as scraps, organ meats, blood, and fat – with salt and locally available spices or herbs, and stuff the entire mixture into other less useful animal parts. With meters of intestine available in every animal, this natural casing was the most practical and economical means of containing the meat.
One particular type of sausage, dry sausage, began to rely on fermentation for a characteristic tangy flavour in the end product. Summer sausage and salamis are the most recognized varieties in this category. While summer sausage is the general term for any dry sausage that can be stored without refrigeration, its name does reflect the fact that it was generally produced in the summer when humidity levels were high and the opportunity for greatest bacterial action could be achieved.
A whole, traditional Mennonite summer sausage comes encased in cloth bags. Simply wrap the entire summer sausage in newspaper, freezer paper or parchment paper and place in the refrigerator. Never wrap in plastic as this prevents air circulation, which can lead to a slimy exterior. Summer sausage is great for taking on hiking or canoeing trips when refrigeration is a problem. Just wrap well in newspaper to keep it cooler and to prevent the odours from mingling with other foods!
Summer sausage can be made from any kind of meat – beef, pork, turkey, chicken, venison or emu – and this will influence the nutrient profile. There does need to be a certain amount of fat in sausage to prevent it from being dry, pasty and crumbly. Salt is also required to preserve the meat. Summer sausage is a very good source of vitamin B12.
32g (2 medium slices) of beef summer sausage provides about 120 calories, 10g fat, 0g carbohydrate, 7 g protein and 470g sodium.
How to Use
Summer sausage is one of the very few foods served in its common form without any other culinary changes. A few slices on bread or crackers, with perhaps some cheese, is a traditional way of eating this dry sausage.
Summer sausage can be made with any meat available. Leaner meats will require the addition of some fat to keep the sausage moist and firm. Traditional Mennonite sausage is a 60:40 mixture of beef and pork. The pork adds lots of flavour and fat, while the beef prolongs the shelf life of the sausage. Local producers are creating turkey, pork, beef, Mexican and mustard seed varieties that add some unique flavours to our deli choices.