There is something about smoked meat that makes your mouth water.
Any meat tastes excellent with that smoky flavor.
Many people think of summer sausage when smoked meat is mentioned.
Yes, that familiar long log of meat we see at many parties and Thanksgiving dinners.
And no, summer sausage is not just for the hot seasons.
And with cured meats like this sausage, you can expect some exciting flavors.
You know just how good summer sausage is if you have tried it.
But for those who have not, you are in for a treat.
So, what does summer sausage tastes like, and why does it have that name? We will answer this and more in today’s article.
Scroll down below.
What is Summer Sausage?
Summer sausage is a type of cured or smoked sausage that originated in Europe.
This sausage uses several ingredients and is made of different meats.
Popular varieties are beef and pork.
The name “summer sausage” is confusing for many people.
For newcomers, they might think this treat is only available during the summer or enjoyed at that time.
But let’s get into the origins to know where it got its name.
According to research, German immigrants were the first to introduce this concept.
Fridges didn’t exist back then, so they had to come up with an idea to make meat last longer.
The fall or winter months are the best time to hang your meats without them getting spoilt.
People used unique preserving recipes that make the meats last until the summer.
Thus, summer sausage was born.
Summer sausages are great for gift ideas.
Thanksgiving dinners are incomplete without some sausage and turkey.
They also look great on charcuterie boards and are a lovely addition to your picnics.
What Does Summer Sausage Taste Like?
In general, summer sausage tastes smoky and very tangy.
It also tastes salty because of the long process it takes to cure them.
You can also get pleasingly nutty and pungent flavors if there is garlic in it.
They have a semi-soft texture and are dry because there is little moisture.
When they are fermented, it lowers the pH level.
This, in turn, slows down any growth of bacteria, and thus they last longer.
People use different woods to smoke their sausages.
And yes, you can expect a difference in flavors when you use a variety of woods.
Strongly-smelling ones include hickory, walnut, acacia, oak, and mesquite.
Some manufacturers also use fruits, garlic, cheese, jalapenos, etc.
The blend of these ingredients with different meats gives each variety a unique flavor.
Many people often confuse summer sausage with salami.
They do look similar but are miles apart in taste.
Salami also has a more rigid texture because it has less moisture and lasts longer.
Summer sausage doesn’t necessarily go bad.
But when you keep them longer than usual, they will get spoilt.
If you see any discoloration or a funky smell, it’s time to toss it out.
You can also look for puffed packaging or change in texture.
You will notice a slimy texture on the meat if they are spoilt.
You won’t have to worry about them getting spoilt, though.
These delicious treats will be finished before they even get a chance to go bad.
How to Prepare and Serve Summer Sausage?
Summer sausage has four basic ingredients.
They are pork, beef, salt, and pepper.
But other ingredients are added, which elevates its taste.
People use mustard seeds, garlic, ginger, etc.
If you want to prepare it yourself, you need pork or beef, various spices, casings, meat cultures, and curing salts.
Curing salts and meat cultures are essential for making summer sausage.
They give this meat its signature tangy taste.
It also preserves the meat and prevents the growth of unwanted microorganisms that can spoil the food.
Making summer sausages is a laborious task.
But here is a shortened version of how to prepare it.
Grind the meat, mix in your seasonings, stuff it in the casings, and smoke it.
You want to smoke your meat at around 110F for 6-7 hours.
Store the sausages at 70-80% humidity at 50-60F.
You can also make your meat drier by drying them for at least three days.
Ensure there is more flesh than fat in your meat stuffing.
The fat content should be around 20-30%.
As always, you can have fun by adding some twist to the traditional recipe.
There are various manufacturers that are not afraid to experiment.
Some people also use venison instead of beef or pork.
There are a lot of foods that pair well with summer sausage.
Cheese, dried fruits, wine, sandwiches, casseroles, etc.
, all taste delicious with this treat.
Add summer sausage to your bag if you go camping or hunting.
They will not spoil despite the lack of refrigeration.
There is no specific answer to what summer sausage tastes like.
There are so many varieties and flavors that we have yet to taste.
Ultimately it depends upon the type of meat and seasonings.
But we can say all varieties taste smoky, tangy, and salty.
And they sure are a delicious treat for your taste buds.
You can also have fun by making homemade summer sausages.
It needs a lot of patience and hard work.
But there is nothing sweeter than the fruits of labor (or, in this case, “meats of labor”).