View Full Version : Origin of the Term Summer Sausage

12-02-2006, 02:55 PM
As I was munching on one of my favorite holiday snacks- summer sausage with a nice sharp cheddar, real mayo on rye- it occured to me that while I do occassionally see summer sausage at other times of the year, it's typically a fall and winter item. Which of course, bears the question- wouldn't fall or winter sausage be more appropriate?

Trusting ye old faithful google, I punched the term in there, and even wikipedia doesn't seem to have a satisfactory answer, instead simply making the brilliant observation I myself made. So I brought it here, searched Cecil's old columns.. apparently summer sausage has something to do with old Beatles album covers, but I didn't think that quite got to the nature of my question, put simply- why do we call it "summer sausage" anyway?

Anyone have any ideas? Wikipedia was perplexed as well, stating that it's mostly made in the fall during the hunting season, but that's about all I could find regarding it. Apologies if this one's already been covered, but I couldn't seem to find a search function for the boards.

Qadgop the Mercotan
12-02-2006, 03:08 PM
Summer sausage is a type of sausage that cures by fermentation. As a result, it tends to have a much greater resistance to spoilage. You can make it, and keep it, during the hot summer months.

Or so I learned from many of the local butchers in my area, who specialized in making summer sausage. Or Somer Sausage, to quote the germanic origins.

12-02-2006, 03:44 PM
They originally made it out of a girl named Summer. She was, according to contemporary reports, quite delicious.

12-02-2006, 07:34 PM
I can find newspaper advertisements for Summer Sausage from as early as the 1870's. In Kansas and Wisconsin newspapers.

04-22-2017, 05:14 PM
für die Sommersaison

04-22-2017, 06:00 PM
I love Summer Sausage. partly because me German grandma loved it, and always had it around. She had a(unfulfilled :( ) life long quest to find some like the stuff she had growing up.

My favorite thing thought is to slice it thin, and leave it on a plate in the fridge cover with paper towel for a week or so. It turns into summer sausage jerky, with the flavor concentrated and a good satisfying rip against your teeth just like normal jerky.

04-22-2017, 06:06 PM
What Qadgop said. It is also a "dry" sausage, and the low fat/moisture content also helps retard spoilage.

04-22-2017, 06:07 PM
Since the GQ answer has been provided, let's move this to Cafe Society. Please note that this thread was started in 2006.

General Questions Moderator

Qadgop the Mercotan
04-22-2017, 08:18 PM
I still loves me my local butcher's summer sausage. He makes a jalapeno variety that's especially delicious on pizza. Also the hungarian version is laden with paprika for another dimension of flavor. And they've both got that tang you get with fermented foods.

Ukulele Ike
04-22-2017, 11:21 PM
Summer sausage is made out of ZOMBIES?

Ukulele Ike
04-22-2017, 11:24 PM
Just to spark this zombie thread up....how does summer sausage compare to Eastern Pennsylvania Lebanon Bologna? Which I know is actually fermented?

Wisconsinites versus the Amish....GO!

Qadgop the Mercotan
04-22-2017, 11:40 PM
Just to spark this zombie thread up....how does summer sausage compare to Eastern Pennsylvania Lebanon Bologna? Which I know is actually fermented?

Wisconsinites versus the Amish....GO!
They're pretty damn similar if not just variations on the essential summer sausage recipe, basically. According to this source (http://pabook2.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/LBologna.html), Lebanon bologna was just another variety of summer sausage made in Lebanon, PA along with bratwurst and a variety of other traditional german wursts. But the larger size of the summer sausage made there caused locals to refer to it as bologna to distinguish it from the smaller diameter summer sausages.

04-23-2017, 01:01 AM
Märzen means March, and is a beer served in fall. These things take time to make.