We were talking on a radio show about various holiday topics such as when do you open presents, favorite Christmas songs and movies and so on. Where we had the most fun was talking about holiday traditions.

During that discussion, the subject came up about leaving something out for Santa. Of course, cookies and milk were the most popular. However, we had some talk about things like minced meat pie and even carrots.

Then in the middle of all this, I pointed out that at my house they can put out some cheese, summer sausage, and crackers. While you're at it, add a glass of wine.

I thought we were doing fine, but I was asked about the summer sausage. I was grilled on why it was called summer sausage. You could have heard a pin drop, things got real quiet because I didn't know the answer to that one.

I have been eating the meat in question for over 50 years and never even questioned how it got its name. Well here we go, I did some research:

Summer sausage got its name from the fact that when made the sausage needed little or no refrigeration, thus the sausages could be kept for eating in the usually warmer summer months. Summer Sausage was made in Europe for hundreds of years, or longer, and immigrants brought their recipes to the new world.

Now the even bigger question, why are we talking about summer sausage here in the middle of winter?

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