Are you a fan of summer sausage? Do you enjoy snacking on it, adding it to your charcuterie board, or using it in sandwiches?
If so, you may have come across Harry and David’s summer sausage offerings. But the question remains: is their summer sausage cooked?
In this article, we’ll explore the answer to that question and provide some background information on summer sausage in general.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn more about this delicious cured meat.
Is Harry And David Summer Sausage Cooked?
The answer is yes, Harry and David’s summer sausage is cooked. This means that it is ready to eat straight out of the package, without the need for any additional cooking.
Summer sausage is a type of cured meat that was developed in Europe before the advent of refrigeration technology. It is made using several types of preservation methods, which allow it to keep from spoiling without refrigeration during the summer months.
Harry and David offer two varieties of summer sausage – a traditional beef and pork mix, and an all-beef variety. Both are fully cooked and do not require refrigeration until after they are sliced.
This makes them a perfect food to take on picnics, hiking adventures, or camping trips. They can also be used for a quick and easy dinner option.
What Is Summer Sausage?
Summer sausage is a type of hard, dried, and smoked sausage that is similar to salami in preparation. It is typically made from a mixture of pork, beef, or other meats such as venison. The meat is ground and mixed with curing ingredients such as salt, nitrite, and spices like black pepper, garlic salt, or sugar. Fast-acting starter cultures are also added to the mix.
The sausage mass is then filled into fibrous casings of 70-80 mm diameter and fermented at high temperatures of 30-40°C. Fermentation lowers the pH of the sausage, slowing bacterial growth and giving it a tangy taste. The final pH obtained is usually around 4.5, which is low but accepted by customers.
After fermentation, the sausages are smoked and heated to around 60-65°C in the core at low relative humidity levels of around 40-50%. The product is then dried further until the desired weight loss has occurred.
Summer sausage was traditionally made during the winter and remained consumable through summer when high temperatures would cause fresh meats to spoil. Hence the name “summer sausage”. It was popular among German-American settler communities and became a common gift during winter holidays.
Today, summer sausage is a popular snack food that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with wine and cheese. It is perfect for snacking, picnics, and charcuterie boards. While some summer sausages can be kept without refrigeration until opened, others require refrigeration to stay fresh. It’s always best to check with the manufacturer or look for packaging instructions to ensure proper storage.
How Is Summer Sausage Made?
Summer sausage is typically made using a combination of beef and pork, although some recipes use only beef. The meat is ground and mixed together with curing salts, such as InstaCure No. 1, which helps to preserve the meat and give it a tangy flavor.
Seasonings such as mustard seeds, black pepper, garlic salt, and sugar are added to the meat mixture to enhance the flavor. The mixture is then stuffed into casings, either natural or synthetic, and smoked at a low temperature for several hours.
During the smoking process, the sausage is gradually cooked and dried, which helps to prevent the fat from rendering out. Once the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 155F, it is removed from the smoker and rinsed in cold water to chill it and stop the cooking process.
After it has been chilled and dried, summer sausage can be eaten immediately or stored for later use. It can be sliced thinly and served as a snack or appetizer, or used as a flavorful ingredient in sandwiches, salads, and other dishes.
Different Types Of Summer Sausage
Summer sausage comes in many different types and variations. While some may use different meats or seasonings, they all share the same basic characteristics of being cured and ready-to-eat without the need for refrigeration until opened.
One popular type of summer sausage is fresh country sausage, which is also known as breakfast sausage. This type of sausage is made from pork and mild seasonings and is typically served with breakfast. It can come in different forms, including loose sausage meat, individual links, or longer coils.
Other types of cured meats, such as salami, pepperoni, and chorizo, can also be considered summer sausages because they are made using similar techniques. However, traditional summer sausage is said to have originated in Germany and is typically softer and less dry than other cured sausages due to the cooler climate.
In addition to these variations, there are also unique types of summer sausage such as morcilla, a Spanish blood sausage made from pig’s blood and ground pork. Despite its intimidating name, morcilla has a rich taste and is often mixed with spices and seasonings for added flavor.
How To Enjoy Summer Sausage
Summer sausage is a versatile food that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Here are a few ideas on how to enjoy Harry and David summer sausage:
1. Charcuterie Board: Thinly slice the summer sausage and arrange it on a charcuterie board with your favorite cheeses, crackers, and fruits. This is a great option for entertaining guests or for a special occasion.
2. Sandwiches: Add sliced summer sausage to your favorite sandwich for an extra burst of flavor. It pairs well with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mustard.
3. Snack: Cut the summer sausage into bite-sized pieces and enjoy it as a snack on its own or with some crackers.
4. Omelet: Add sliced summer sausage to your omelet for a hearty breakfast option. It pairs well with cheese, onions, mushrooms, and peppers.
5. Potato Salad: Add diced summer sausage to your potato salad for a unique twist on this classic dish. The flavor of the sausage pairs well with the creaminess of the potatoes and the tanginess of the dressing.
No matter how you choose to enjoy Harry and David summer sausage, you can be sure that it is fully cooked and ready to eat straight out of the package.
Tips For Storing Summer Sausage.
While Harry and David’s summer sausage is cooked and ready to eat, it is important to store it properly to ensure its quality and safety. Here are some tips for storing summer sausage:
1. Unopened summer sausage should be kept in a cool, dark place until you are ready to open it. Once opened, it should be refrigerated to prevent spoilage.
2. To keep the summer sausage from drying out and losing its texture, wrap it tightly in parchment paper or vacuum seal it before refrigerating.
3. While summer sausage can be stored without refrigeration, it is recommended to keep it in the fridge to prevent the fat from going rancid and developing a bad taste.
4. Store-bought summer sausage may have special storage instructions and an expiration date, so be sure to read the label carefully.
5. If you have opened your summer sausage, consume it within three weeks for optimal freshness.
6. To maximize the shelf life of your uncut summer sausages, store them in the refrigerator for up to three to six months.
7. Freezing is the best way to ensure your summer sausages last as long as possible. To freeze them properly, wrap each sausage tightly in freezer paper and label with the date before placing in the freezer.
By following these tips for storing summer sausage, you can enjoy this delicious cured meat for longer periods of time while maintaining its quality and safety.