Wurst comes to Wurst - or: What about the German Sausage?

Assorted German sausages
The Germans love their sausages. Maximilian Stock Ltd.-Photolibrary@gettyimages.de

When it comes to clichés about the German way of living, just after Autobahn, punctuality and beer, there will sooner or later be mentioned, Wurst. The German's love of sausage is widely known, yet often misunderstood. Is it just a mean prejudice that Teutons just like to put chopped meat inside a long skin and boil, grill, fry them or – even worse – eat them raw? Just prepare for a journey into the wonderful world of German Wurst.

Just make things clear from the beginning of this text: It is true; Germany is the land of the Wurst. But not only one sausage is shining over the wide country inside the heart of Europe. Over 1.500 different styles of sausage are known, made and eaten in the country, and many of them have a very long tradition.

Furthermore, every region has its very special type of sausage or even more than one. Especially in the south, mainly in Bavaria, you can find not only the best-known sausage-styles but also the strangest ones. Every part of the Republik has its very own Wurst. So don't you ever dare to visit Berlin without trying a Currywurst! Let's start with some basic information about this dish. First, there is a difference between sausages that are eaten in the form they are made in, such as hot dogs, and the other type, which is known as "Aufschnitt" in Germany.

The Aufschnitt is a big, fat sausage that is cut into thin slices that are put on bread (mostly, of course, on a slice of good old German "Graubrot").

The so-called Wurstbrot is one of the basic dishes of Germany and is the kind of meal your mother would put in your lunchbox for school. The Aufschnitt, furthermore, is something many Germans link with their childhood memories: Every time you went to the butcher with your mother, the butcher gave you a slice of Gelbwurst (one of the mentioned 1.500 styles).

Most German sausages, no matter the style, contain pork. Of course, there are also some made of beef, lamb, or even deer. Vegetarian and vegan sausages are available, but that's another story. One of the most popular sausages in Germany might be the famous Bratwurst. It can not only be seen at any barbecue in the summertime but also occurs as one of the Germans' most favorite street snacks (besides Döner). Especially in the south, you can enjoy a Bratwurst in most of the city centers. It can also be widely found at football games and fairs. The most common way to eat this snack is inside a bread roll with some mustard.

Of course, there is not only that Bratwurst: There are many different regional styles. One of the best known is the Thüringer bratwurst which is rather long and spicy. The specialty of Nuremberg is the Nürnberger Bratwurst. It is just about five centimeters long and mainly comes as "Drei im Weggla", which means you will get three of them inside a bread roll. What is called Frankfurter in America has many names in Germany. A Bockwurst is just a bit thicker, and a Wiener is long and thin. A Käsekrainer contains cheese and "real" Frankfurter beef. A delicacy of Bavaria is the Weißwurst, which must be traditionally eaten before noon.

It is white and boiled and comes with Weißbier (wheat beer), sweet Bavarian mustard, and a pretzel as Weißwurstfrühstück, a very satisfying breakfast.

Unlike the well-known and tasty styles, you can also witness some very stubborn Würste such as Blutwurst, which is just made of pig's blood and spices or Leberwurst made of liver—not to mix up with Leberkäs, which doesn't contain liver or cheese but is also a very delightful dish put onto a bread roll. Leave all your prejudices behind and let the German Wurst convince you. There is a lot of sausages to try!