In case you have not heard, the founder of Johnsonville Brats, Ralph Stayer, has passed on. From the AP article:
Stayer's butcher shop was struggling in 1945, when he went to a picnic and saw garbage cans filled with partially eaten brats. He and his wife drew upon their Austrian and Slovenian heritage to make better-tasting bratwurst based on an old family recipe, his son said.
Stayer once said he knew the company was doing something right when a customer who had previously ordered 5 pounds of bratwurst and 30 pounds of hamburger returned six months later and ordered 30 pounds of bratwurst and 5 pounds of hamburger.
For centuries, mankind has yearned for that perfect food, that ambrosia to make their life worthwhile. Ancient Sumerians went on discovery treks for months on end to locate it, Rome tried to conquer the known world in search of it, Columbus dared sail to the edge of the world to find it. Ralph Stayer discovered it, and the world would never be the same.
Now the masses had the perfect food and world peace was that much closer to reality. Summertime picnics have become that much more enjoyable as friends and family come together knowing that with Johnsonville brats, the outing will be a joyous one. Professional sports attendence has gone up by over 100,000% since Johnsonville brats came out as tailgating has become the national pastime.
What a debt we owe to Mr. Stayer, and to show how much we appreciate his creation and to honor his legacy, we should all grill some of his delicious creations. So raise your Johnsonville brats in a toast to Ralph Stayer all you cheeseheads and say thanks to our hero.