Metro-East News

Senate sausage: St. Libory butcher’s wurst is Congressional tablefare

Sausage from a metro-east butcher shop was among the fare Thursday for a U.S. Senate luncheon.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, was the host for the Senate Republicans' weekly Thursday lunch, where he promoted Illinois-specific products and shared some of the state’s most famous foods with his Senate colleagues. Among the products was old-fashioned summer sausage from Wenneman Meat Co. in St. Libory.

“I can guarantee that after today’s lunch, many Senators will wish they were able to call Illinois home,” Kirk said in a news release.

Other items brought by Kirk included Illinois favorites such as Lou Malnati’s pizza, Portillo’s hot dogs and Eli’s cheesecake. Each senator at the lunch received one of the Wenneman sausages, as a gift from Kirk.

Brad Schmitz, a co-owner at Wenneman, said the shop’s sausage has been featured at events organized by state-level politicians, but never before on the national level. Schmitz said it’s “pretty cool” to get the recognition.

“It’s an old-style summer sausage that’s cold-smoked, and it’s hung and dried. It’s not your typical sausage that you would find in the grocery store,” Schmitz said. “It’s kind of something we’ve been known for, for quite a while.”