I have incredibly fond memories of my 11th Christmas. (Or maybe it was 12th, my memory is very fond, but not so accurate.) That was what I like to call the “Christmas of Food.” I asked for presents such as a box of milk chocolate letters that spelled out my name, a tub of three flavors of popcorn, and a gift box from Hickory Farms. My mother actually indulged me and I indulged that whole winter break.
While some of you may be thinking, “Wow this lady must have some serious food issues,” it was actually only the beginning of my food issues, but in an amazing way. Even though I’ve foodie’d up and (mostly) reject the processed stuff of my youth, these holiday items still hold a very special place in my gullet. So naturally when the Hickory Farms catalog arrived in my mailbox I had to get to the bottom of things. Meat and cheese things.
Luckily, the people who work on the farm were in the mood to humor me when I called their 1-800 number. Even more luckily, they read the contents of the beef summer sausage to me, out loud. Hickory Farm beef summer sausage includes, but is not limited to: beef, dextrose, salt, mustard flavoring, natural spice, 2% or less of hickory smoked flavoring, salt (I swear she said this twice), sodium (as opposed to salt), sodium nitrate, and some other things that I know don’t have gluten but quickly put out of my head. I was typing and listening and thinking about sausage, give me a break. Naturally, I circled back with the information lady and expressed concern about the hickory smoked flavoring. I realize now I should have also asked about the mustard flavoring, but this very nice lady put me on hold and came back to announce that the beef summer sausage, was, in fact gluten-free*. Win.
So go forth to the mall kiosks, Americans with gluten issues! A summer sausage with cheese in sample size will be waiting for you. Snack without fear.
*Although let’s be honest, with all these other things in it, I’m not sure this is totally safe for your body. Delicious and salty, but not necessarily safe. But neither is peanut brittle, so go crazy this holiday season if you want.