Sausage has been around for centuries, and was even mentioned by Homer in The Odyssey. To be honest, it was originally made more to use up scraps, trimmings and organs that would normally have gone to waste. The meat was ground, seasoned aggressively with salt and spices (the word “sausage” comes from the Latin salsus, meaning “preserved in salt”), forced into natural casing—typically a very well cleaned hog or sheep intestine—and cooked to make a tasty meal.

 

Many types of sausage evolved over the years using different blends of meat and spices—and far better cuts of meat—but not all were truly “preserved in salt”. Salt was a good start, but it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that curing salts (nitrites and nitrates) were discovered, providing a more effective method for killing harmful microbes. Smoking the sausage also slowed microbial growth, and added incredible flavor.

 

Adding Lactobacillus bacteria (found in foods like sauerkraut and yogurt) to the meat, along with sugar to feed it, produced lactic acid. Not only does this substance inhibit pathogenic (bad) bacteria, it also gives the sausage a tangy flavor.

 

By using all three preservation methods—lactic acid fermentation, curing, and smoking—sausage makers were able to make a product that was not only delicious, but could be kept without refrigeration…even in the summer. They had made summer sausage.

Smoked Summer Sausage

$5.72Price
1 Pound
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