The Best of the Wurst!

27 09 2010
Bavarian Weißwurst

Photo Credti: *Noema* CC

It’s that time again! That time of year that rings in the hearts of all beer drinkers everywhere. Oktoberfest! Not only that, but it is the 200th celebration of the first Oktoberfest. Originally it was a celebration of the Prince of Baveria’s wedding, it soon became a celebration of the harvest and the beginning of the brewing season. Now it is just a celebration of all things beer. And unlike St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, it is a holiday actually celbrated by Germans.

We have covered Oktoberfest beers in our section on European Amber Lagers. So today, we will focus on that other staple of Oktoberfest, the sausages. Now sausages are just a small part of the Oktoberfest food. Visitors also eat chicken, ham, noodles, preztels and fish on a stick (because what is a fair without something on a stick?). But sausages are probably the most popular German food in the United States. There are alot of differnt types of sausages. And each comes from a different region with different variations. So let’s break it down for you so that you don’t look like “Eine komplette Idot”

There are two main types of sausages: fresh (served hot) and spreadable (served cold and spread on bread).

The fresh, hot sausage is what you will probably see most at and Oktoberfest celebration.

You are probably familiar with Bratwurst already. You see those at baseball games and at cook outs. It is a pale sausage made priamarily with veal and pork. It is spiced with nutmeg and other spices.

And you may be familiar with frankfurter. Although what Americans consider “frankfurter” is more like Weinerwurst. Frankfurter is made out pork and bacon fat and then smoked. Weinerfurter is more like American hot dogs. It is made out of pork and beef and then covered with garlic.

However, at the real deal, you will most likely see Weisswurst. Weisswurst is German for “White sausage” and is, as the name suggests, very pale. It is made from veal, cream and eggs. And is very delicately flavored. Traditionally, it is served with rye bread, saurkraut (pickled cabbage) and beer.

At your American celebrations, you may also see  Knockwurst. Knockwurst is a short, plump sausage made from veal and corriander and is often grilled.

There are loads of other sausages you probably won’t see very often at your Oktoberfest celebrations. But they include:

  • Bierschinken—with chunks of ham and pistachios
  • Bierwurst—coarse-textured sausage flavored with juniper berries
  • Blutwurst—”blood sausage” fried like English black pudding

As for the spreadable sausages, you probably are not going to find a whole lot of those at your Oktoberfest, unless your host is very adventurous. Americans generally don’t care for their sausages in a spreadable form.

Liverwurst is the most well known of the spreadable kinds. All liverwurst must have at least 30% liver in them. And there are many varieties depending on region. Although the most popular kind is Braunschweiger which is made with milk and eggs.

Cervelat similar to Italian salami, a slicing sausage of pork and beef with spices and often mustard or garlic. It is most often eaten on pieces of dark rye bread.

There you have it! You can now identify your sausages and party with the “wurst” of them! Prost!

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