Where: Classic sausage breeds originate from Frankfurt and Munich
Varieties: Expect more big spicy sausages than you’ve ever seen before – breakfast, lunch and tea
Serving Suggestion: Have a veal and pork white sausage with sweet mustard and pretzels
The sausage is an icon of Germany. Pig farming has been a major means of sustenance for centuries and sausage making has been developed as a way of making the inexpensive cuts of pork more appealing, while the best bits were reserved for ham and bacon.
The average German consumes 67 pounds of sausage per year – half of the annual meat consumption, and there are more than 1,500 different kinds of sausage in Germany, mostly local and regional variations on ingredients, smoking and spicing methods. Overall, sausages can be divided into 3 categories: Bruhwurst, (fresh sausage), Kochwurst (pre-cooked sausage) andRohwurst (raw cured sausage).
Some of the most famous sausages come from major towns and cities and have interesting histories and traditions attached. Amongst these are the Frankfurter from Frankfurt and theWeisswurst from Munich.
Frankfurters – One of the most famous sausages in the world – but if you try one outside of Germany it’s likely to be a dodgy, bland appropriation of the famous delicacy. Real frankfurters contain spicy pork and back bacon. The skins are made from sheep guts, and the diameter of the sausage should be no more than 24 millimetres to allow the smoke from the cold smoking process to properly penetrate. To be enjoyed to the max they should be simmered for 8 minutes then served in pairs with mustard, on warmed plates.
In the 13th century, the only district in Frankfurt where butchers were allowed to sell their wares was Schirn and this is the probable birthplace of this remarkable morsel. In 1562, Emperor Maximilian II insisted on being served roast oxen stuffed with sausages at his coronation. The name ‘Frankfurter’ was bestowed on the recipe by happy customers who came from outside the city, and it stuck.
Weisswurst (White Sausage)
A fresh sausage of veal and pork mixed with onion, parsley and spices, served hot with mild, sweet mustard, bread or pretzels and squeezed out of its skin. The weisswurst is traditionally eaten before midday, since when it was invented in 1857, there were no preservatives to keep it fresh and tasty throughout the day. It is a particular favourite in Bavaria, where it is sold and eaten according to a barrel-load of traditions. The best weisswurst in Munich are allegedly served at the café in the Grossmarkethalle, the wholesale market for fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Sausages can be tried in many restaurants, but roadside fast food stalls sell the best kind of junk food sausage. A popular snack is the currywurst – a cheap frankfurter style sausage with curry sauce – comparable to the satisfaction of eating a kebab after a boozy night out. Don’t expect your sausages in an American style soft bread roll – the Germans typically present their rather large sausages on a dish or tray with a very small piece of bread and only mustard to cover its dignity. I say!