Most Popular German Sausages
Frankfurter würstchen, as the name implies, is a type of sausage originating in Frankfurt, where it has been historically made for centuries. The sausage is made entirely of pork, lightly seasoned and lean, and is usually added into a natural sheep casing.
Frankfurter würstchen is boiled and lightly smoked, a method that gives this German meat specialty a nice hint of smokiness. It is normally simply heated in simmering water before being enjoyed with accompaniments such as mustard, horseradish, bread, or potato salad since the sausage is pre-cooked, and it is sometimes washed down with a glass of fine apple wine (Apfelwein).
Since 1860, when a law was passed allowing only those sausages made in Frankfurt and its surroundings to bear the name Frankfurter, this particular sausage variety has enjoyed a protected status in Germany, while other sausage varieties made outside this region, but in the same way, were supposed to be labeled after Frankfurter art (frankfurter-style sausages).
Wiener würstchen is the name of a German sausage that is traditionally made with a mixture of pork and beef, considered a variant on the standard frankfurter würstchen (frankfurter sausage). Until it is put into a thin sheep intestine, smoked, and parboiled, the mixture is finely chopped and seasoned with spices such as white pepper, coriander, mace, paprika, salt, and ginger.
It was back in Vienna in 1805, when Johann Georg Lahner, a Gasseldorf butcher trained in Frankfurt, produced a new variety of sausage by introducing beef exclusively made from pork to the original frankfurter. Initially, the name of his invention was Lahners würstel, but it soon became known as Frankfurter würstel – a name that has remained in Austria until today.
In Germany, the sausage came to be known as wiener würstchen (meaning Viennese sausage in German), referring to the place where the production of these sausages initially began. Another reason why the Germans had to call these sausages wiener würstchen instead of frankfurter sausages, as was the case in Vienna, was because of the protected status that frankfurter würstchen have been enjoying in the country since 1860.
Usually, these sausages are eaten in pairs, either hot or cold, and are usually simply heated, baked, or grilled in boiling water.
From garlic, pepper, marjoram, caraway, and mace to alcoholic drinks such as rum and cognac, mettwurst is a long and thin German sausage made from a mixture of pork and beef. The sausage is cold-smoked or air-dried and cured.
Mettwurst can be cooked and served with kale or cabbage, fried, or simply spread on bread and eaten as it is. There are also firmer variations of this sausage, which are often used in a variety of soups and stews.
Knockwurst or knackwurst is a German pre-boiled sausage made from ground pork, beef, or both. The sausage is heavily garlic-seasoned and has a high fat quality. Unlike bratwurst and other similar sausages, when cooked, the casing of knockwurst becomes extra crispy, giving it a distinct texture and a special sound when bitten into it.
Sauerkraut, potato salad, pickles, mustard, and a glass of cold beer on the side are recommended for serving the sausage.
One of the most popular sausage varieties enjoyed in Germany is Bockwurst. Originally, the sausages were prepared with finely ground veal, but today they can use different kinds of meat and various spices and fresh herbs combinations. They come in various types and are typically pale in color.
Bockwursts are usually stuffed in natural casings, making them suitable for grilling or simmering in hot water. They were invented in Berlin in 1889 by a pub owner called Richard Scholtz, who served them alongside bock bier, according to a common belief.
Today, in Germany and Austria, where they are typically enjoyed with a dollop of mustard, sauerkraut, or boiled potatoes on the side, they are internationally popular and especially favored.
Blutwurst, a popular German blood sausage with many regional variations, belongs to the group of cooked sausages. In addition to a wide range of seasonings such as marjoram, allspice, and thyme, it is primarily made with pork and contains animal blood, fat, and meat.
Blutwurst comes in different sizes, and barley, oats, or bread are included in several regional variants, although some types can also consist of diced bacon or innards. Since this blood sausage is usually baked, it has a firm consistency and, along with other cold cuts, is widely enjoyed as an appetizer.
It is usually boiled or fried briefly and served sweet, often followed on the side by mashed potatoes or sauerkraut.
Leberwurst consists of a mixture of ground pork liver, onions, and spices and is a spicy German sausage. Sausage is usually eaten with sauerkraut, but it can also be used in sandwiches where cheese, mustard, pickles, and bread are cut and served with leberwurst.
It may be cooked, but most types of leberwurst can be spread and can be eaten uncooked. This sausage is popular in many other countries, apart from Germany and Austria, such as Slovenia, Serbia, and Romania, and there are many varieties of leberwurst today, with additions such as mushrooms and cowberries.
A popular specialty of the City of Munich, invented in 1857 by a butcher called Sepp Moser, is Weisswurst or White Sausage. He worked next to his butcher’s shop in a restaurant and used the last of the thick sausage skins that were used to produce daily sausages.
He opted for thin skin to solve the problem. He was concerned that it would break open during the cooking process when he was making the sausage, so he put it in hot water and cooked it for 10 minutes. The new dish was praised after serving the cooked sausages to the guests, and Weisswurst was born.
The sausages consist of a mixture of parsley, pepper, lemon, and salt flavored with bacon, veal, and pork fat. Today, in southern Germany, sausages are the most common and are one of the most consumed items at Oktoberfest. Weisswurst is often served hot in restaurants, usually accompanied by pretzels and, preferably, Hausmacher Senf from Händlmaier, although it can be served with other Bavarian sweet mustard varieties if there is no original Händlmeier brand available.
The sausage casing is not intended for use, but it is sometimes cut around the length of the sausages and the casing is peeled. Interestingly, eating Weisswurst after midday in Bavaria is considered a tabu. When the sausages were made fresh, and were meant to be eaten as quickly as possible, this tradition comes from the past.
In Germany, no other dish is as well known as currywurst, a street snack which has become an indispensable part of the culinary heritage of Germany. The dish is made from two important components: boiled and subsequently fried sausage, whole or sliced served, and a smooth and rich tomato sauce with curry spices. The dish is usually finely dusted with yellow curry powder with a portion of french fries or a kaiser roll on the side. For currywurst, a large range of sausages are used, but the most widely used variety is the popular German bratwurst.
Herta Heuwer, a Berlin local who is widely credited as the inventor of the tomato and curry concoction, tells the tale of the most famous legend. In 1949, several ingredients were difficult to come by in the wake of World War II and life was rough. She was, however, able to get hold of a hard to come by ingredient, British yellow curry powder, thanks to Herta’s negotiation skills. To make the base sauce, which she served with the sliced sausage, she then blended it with puréed tomatoes and other spices.
The dish turned into an immediate hit. Herta patented her invention and her original recipe was never revealed. Later, as the popularity of currywurst increased, numerous varieties appeared throughout Berlin and the rest of Germany. No two are the same, and each locale has its own favorite style and a favorite spot for currywurst.
Germans are so fond of this staple of fast food that in its honour they have even created a museum. The Currywurst Museum, located in Berlin, provides an insight into the history of the legendary currywurst, as well as a thorough overview of the various variations, cooking styles, and serving choices of this popular dish.
A delicacy eaten in Germany and abroad today is what was once an item for survival during the cold winter months and a way of not wasting meat scraps. Bratwurst derives from two terms, the Old High German term brat, meaning wasteless meat, and wurst, meaning sausage.
Bratwurst has Celtic roots, but it was further established by the Franconians. In an area which would eventually become Eastern Germany, it dates back to the 1300s. Due to the custom of farmers who would make the sausages in the morning and eat them by noon, Bratwurst is normally eaten for breakfast, as they would otherwise spoil.
Bratwurst must, strictly speaking, be made from either pork, veal or beef, but there are more than 40 varieties of sausage in Germany. In 2000, a historian named Heinrich Höllerlhas discovered the oldest recipe for bratwurst. The same recipe, for the Thuringian bratwurst (one of the most famous varieties), says that the makers had to use only the purest, unspoiled meat in the production process.
Bratwursts are now commonly eaten in Germany with sauerkraut, potato salad, horseradish, or mustard, but sausages are still popular in the United States, especially in Wisconsin, where summer cookouts and barbecues are commonly found.