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Generally Recognized As True: Trip: St. Jacobs summer sausage

Friday, September 26, 2008

Trip: St. Jacobs summer sausage

Summer sausage earned itself a bad reputation when I was growing up, but it was because of user error. For one reason or another, it ended up in a soup that had regular amounts of salt and pepper added to it. The resulting soup was incredibly salty and strong to the point that it almost made you feel sick. Summer sausage being a very strongly seasoned and flavoured sausage, the amounts of those things should have been adjusted downward to make it compatible with a soup.

So, in the interest of rehabilitation, on the trip I just finished, I picked up some Mennonite summer sausage from the St Jacobs market on the way home.

The best way to describe this sausage is that it's like a more complex version of those meat sticks you can buy as snacks in the supermarket -- the "Hot Rod" and that kind of thing. It's a strong, peppery, tough and chewy sausage that is cured and doesn't need to be refrigerated. As you can see, to the left, I'm just hanging mine up in the kitchen for now.

The sausage pictured is about 14" long and 3" thick and cost about $18. It is cured with maple smoke and has a very strong (but very nice) smell. When I got home from my trip, I wasn't sure if the smell in my house was coming from me or the sausage, having just sat for large parts of 3 days next to a campfire. It was a bit of both.

In my mind, the summer sausage has been vindicated. It is a delicious piece of foodcraft cured in a somewhat traditional way that, from my perspective, is best eaten as-is and may never see a recipe!


Sarah said...

Please remind me to tell you my funny "summer sausage" story next week. (And that might make a good practice chart theme, LOL!)

mattbg said...

A funny summer sausage story! This sounds like it might be good!

Lux e Tenebris said...

Cloth bag sausage will dry out in your kitchen fairly quickly and become inedible and hard unless you do two things: wrap your sausage in news paper not too tightly and secure the paper with a piece of tape. Second make a tinfoil cap for the cut end so it wont dry or attract insects. Never use plastic wrap the meat with spoil.