Summer Sausage in Wisconsin

One thing I haven’t found in Texas is summer sausage that is similar to what I’ve become accustomed to growing up in Wisconsin. I’m not sure if it’s Wisconsin’s heavily German ancestry or something else that specifically influenced the flavor. It’s just something that is done differently and seems to be consumed on a much higher level there. When I go to HEB in Texas, there might be a small choice of summer sausage to choose from. You might get 4-5 different brands. When I go to Festival Foods in Wisconsin, there’s a whole lunch meat section dedicated to it:

In many ways, beef sticks are just summer sausage in a more portable form. You can buy them in bulk at the grocery store.

We all know Wisconsin is big on cheese, but also being big on sausage, the deli section has pre-made cheese and sausage trays.

Growing up, I didn’t even eat much of the selection they had at the store. I come from a big hunting family and we would make our own summer sausage. We’d have many sticks of it made, so it was a staple of my diet.

Most of the sausage made in Wisconsin is relatively lean overall. There are a ton of spices in it and it’s robust in flavor. I have brought some down to Texas for coworkers to try. It was very well-received to the point people ordered it online from a Wisconsin meat shop. That’s always a good sign! I do love how summer sausage is made in Wisconsin and have been searching in Texas for something similar. So far I’ve found some stuff that is kind of similar, but it still doesn’t have the same taste profile as Wisconsin. I think I may have to go to the German areas of Texas to see what I kind find. I’ll definitely report back!