How would you know if a sausage originates from Germany? Is it because of its size? Or its name? Germany is not only known for its beer, but also its deliciously mouthwatering sausages. You’ll know if a sausage comes from Germany or has a German origin if its name has ‘wurst’ (pronounced as ‘voorsht’) in it, such as bratwurst.
How well do you know German sausages? Germany has more than 1500 varieties of wurst, and each region has its version. Pork meat is the number one protein commodity in the whole nation, so it’s not surprising if the locals managed to take advantage and create ultimately good food.
Moreover, there is a great feast celebrated around the world that also originates from Germany, ‘The Oktoberfest.’ This festival is normally enjoyed with beer and, you guessed it, sausages— not just one or two, but tons of it.
Sausages are the pride of Germany. The German song ‘Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei,’ which means ‘Everything has an end, only a sausage has two,’ proves that to be true.
So, here are the best ways to enjoy your German sausages:
Grilling is one of the most popular ways of enjoying sausages. It results in appetizing grill lines, which makes it more pleasant to eat.
To grill your sausages, make sure to apply the direct heat method. This method will make sure that sausages will reach the internal temperature of 150°F. You may check this by using an instant-read thermometer.
Moreover, make sure that you use low to medium heat to avoid overcooking. This happens when the sausages become dry on the inside because most juices have been released. Using an appropriate heat range will also ensure the caramelization of ingredients present in the sausage.
Caramelization is one the most important principle of cooking, which allows flavors to come out due to reactions of sugars at a specific temperature.
Frying is a basic way to cook your sausages, but it doesn’t mean that cooking sausages this way would lead to lost flavor compared to other complicated ways. Frying at a proper temperature can also induce caramelization, which is extremely needed to get the flavors you want.
When you are pan-frying, make sure that the pan is hot before you put your sausages. The principle is similar to preheating an oven. This aims to cook your sausage evenly once you place them on your pan.
3. Parboiling And Simmering
Some sausages do not require frying or grilling because they are already cooked inside. If you prefer your sausage to be warm and hot, you may parboil using your pan for a few minutes.
When you parboil them, make sure that you do not cover the entire sausage with cooking liquid. Cooking liquids may be plain water or chicken stock for an additional flavor. Never poke your sausages as well while parboiling them. This may result in the release of golden and flavorful juices.
Likewise, parboiling retains the physical appearance and texture of the food, making it perfect for those who do not appreciate browned skin and grill lines.
4. Eating Them With Beer
This is how the German locals eat and enjoy their sausages. Beer is the perfect partner of sausages during Oktoberfest. However, you can still enjoy your sausages with or without the festival.
5. Eating Them As-Is
Not all sausages are enjoyed by frying, grilling, or parboiling. Some are eaten as is, such as Leberwurst, which can be used as a spread on sandwiches. It has already been cooked, so you can eat it without cooking it further.
6. Pairing Them With Condiments
In Germany, different sausages have specific sides and condiments to release and complement the flavors perfectly. These are the typical condiments locals use to enjoy their sausages:
- Horseradish cream
- Mashed potatoes
- Boiled or fried potatoes
Of course, the use of sides and condiments may vary depending on your taste and preference.
Are you excited to try these tips and techniques on your favorite German sausages? You should know the different types of sausage first, though. Here are the best and well-known varieties and the best way to eat them:
According to gotzinger.com, Brats are the most noted German-style sausage across the world, and of course, a German favorite. In Germany, they have over 50 varieties of brats in each region.
Bratwurst means ‘fried (brat) sausage (wurst),’ so the best way to enjoy it is by cooking it in a grill or hot pan. The direct heat from the grill and hot pan gives the sausage its char lines and savory snap. It is best served with sauerkraut (a fermented cabbage) or potatoes and pretzels. If you want, you may also eat it with bread like American hot dogs.
Another German favorite is Knackwursts. These are fine-emulsion sausages that are usually short and fat and commonly made with a combined mixture of veal, pork, and beef. Unlike brats, knackwursts are smoked and encased in a hickory natural casing.
The best way to enjoy knackwurst is to grill, fry, or steam it perfectly. In local streets, you’ll find these sausages smothered in curry-flavored ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder, calling them currywurst.
Traditionally from Bavaria, specifically in Munich, Weisswurst (pronounced as ‘vice voorsht’) is hailed as the king of Oktoberfest sausages and the original white sausage.
Weisswurst is made using pork, veal, and a couple of veggies like green onions, leeks, and parsley. The best way to eat it is by simmering in hot water. Never overcook weisswurst to prevent the skin from splitting. Some locals say the skin should be peeled off with warm water before eating and pair it with Bavarian mustard, pretzels, and of course, with some cold beer.
Among the common varieties of bratwurst, you may easily acknowledge this type of sausage because of its surprisingly small pinkie finger size. Nürnberger bratwurst is ordinarily made with pork, veal, and marjoram as its major spice ingredient.
These sausages are best cooked or roasted over a flaming grill or hot pan, and best served with horseradish cream, sauerkraut, or potatoes. If you’re in Germany and want to sound like a local, you may order them by saying ‘Drei in Weckla,’ which means ‘three-in-a-bun.’
Translated as ‘blood sausage,’ Blutwurst always comes in a sausage ring, similar to Polish kielbasa. This sausage is usually made using congealed pork or cow’s blood, pork bacon, and cooked down with barley.
This sausage is usually served with applesauce and mashed potatoes in Cologne, or mixed with liverwurst and potatoes in Berlin. It is typically served cold with bread, but you may also serve it hot with the best condiments you prefer.
Are you excited for the next Oktoberfest? This guide could help you enjoy the festival more and savor the flavorful culture and tradition of every sausage. Maybe one day you’ll master the German way of creating sausages, and even concoct your own wurst someday. But don’t forget the glass of beer. Sausages are better with beer.