Summer sausages are not necessarily produced in the summer time-though they can be. Instead, they are a variety of seasoned sausage that are totally cured and don't have to be cooled. They are made out of meat scraps-just like all sausages-and can be produced using a blend of meats to have flavor variety.
There are numerous varieties of Summer sausages. Cervelat-style sausages like blockwurst, mortadella, and thuringer are fine examples. Those living in Eastern Europe even have their own varieties of summer sausages that go as far back to periods when meat must be well-preserved given that refrigeration wasn't yet possible. Summer sausages could be purchased at grocer shops that bring in special regional food products.
Ingredients. Pork and beef are a well-known mixture in summer sausages, although venison and various game meat can be used too. Summer sausages can also contain organ meat, even if this once typical culinary practice has drastically waned in popularity over the years. Salt is constantly included in seasoning summer sausages, but mustard seeds, sugar, and pepper can be used as well. Many people from different areas on the planet have their own summer sausage seasoning customs, producing a wide range of variants for this diverse family of cured meats.
Curing. Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and pressed into sausage casings, summer sausages need to be cured. Again, curing methods vary significantly depending on traditions and geographic locations, but summer sausages will eventually be either dried or smoked. Smoking is done slowly at a very low temperature for an even cure. Drying is done in the open on large racks that exploit the sun and seasonal winds.
The moment curing is completed, summer sausages may be consumed as they are. They can also be sliced up into slender sections, and rolled, and may also be warmed, cooked, and incorporated as an ingredient for some other dishes. Several modern day summer sausages may be less-cured, requiring refrigeration and cooking right before they could be consumed. Generally, less-cured summer sausages like what you see in meat and cheese gift baskets are milder in taste compared to most summer sausages.
Nutritional Values. Summer sausages are mainly composed of around 25% protein and 75% fat. A serving size of 2 ounces will give you about 650 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of protein, 18 grams of fat, and 170 total calories, with 135 of that amount coming from fat. That being said, there is no way that a summer sausage becomes a health food. However, there is no denying that it tastes great. Consuming it in moderation is the key to take pleasure from its rich flavors.
Summer sausages are featured prominently in many butcher shops' cheese and sausage gift baskets. Find even more summer sausage information and tested recipes on the Net.