Choose among 33+ different sausages with a variety of flavors and sizes for your Grillabend. Which one is right for you this week? Here's a brief primer on the root of the word "Wurst," our sausages and what meals you want to make with them. <
Where does the word “Wurst”come from?
Sausages are among the oldest known processed foods in humanity. Already the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks, and Romans consumed cut up, meshed, seasoned meat parts stuffed into intestines. And that's where the German word "wurst" originates. It means "something churned, meshed, mixed."
Why are sausages so crucial to German cuisine?
We can only speculate. For most of her history, Germany was divided into many principalities and city-states. Butchers in each state invented and perfected their own local sausage varieties, using different meat cuts, cutting techniques and seasonings. Germany's central location in Europe made it a trade hub for cultures all around the world and locals adopted the culinary habits of foreign visitors. Finally, sausages don't spoil as quickly as other meat varieties. They are inexpensive to make and easy to store. As wars raged across Europe throughout the centuries, sausage became more sustainable sources of protein.
Sausage dinner, snacks, toppers, and spreads
The versatility of sausages seems boundless. Check our
germanfoods.org for recipes and lists of available sausages in
Germany. Here's what's available on The Taste of Germany (in alphabetical order, German name first) and our
recommendations for culinary uses:
Bauernwurst (Farmer's Sausage): a traditional German favorite made from coarsely ground, smoked pork and beef meat, seasoned with onion, garlic, marjoram, and mustard seeds. Excellent for grilling and frying, the Bauernwurst is a spicier, stronger flavored cousin to Bratwurst. Use with a medium hot mustard or mild curry ketchup and sauerkraut or green cabbage (kale).
Blutwurst (blood sausage): A specialty cooked sausage (Brühwurst) eaten around the world. Traditionally, it is made from the blood of freshly butchered pig, sheep, lamb, cow, or goose. The blood is cooked or dried and then mixed with a filler, such as other meat cuts, bread, barley, oatmeal, buckwheat, vegetable and spices. In Germany, "Blutwurst" is made from pork rind, blood barley and spices. The sausage flavor is meaty and mild, it's color is dark red.
Bockwurst (Real German Sausages): Finely ground, premium-quality meat from pork. Made in - and imported - from Germany. This type of sausage is called Brühwurst in German. They are pre-cooked, and you just have to blanch them in simmering, not boiling water.Or eat them cold straight out of the jar. Ass hot and extra hot mustard, and eat them with crusty German bread and potato salad. Or cut up and add to vegetable soups. In the US, we can't officially call these sausages Bockwurst, because the USDA defines a Bockwurst as a sausage that contains milk (don't ask us why).
Bratwurst: Coarsely ground, seasoned with celery, lemon and leeks. Made from a hormone-free, locally-sourced mix of pork and beef, pre-cooked and ready to eat. Fry or grill. Eat with curry ketchup, hot mustard, inside a bun or along with spaetzle pasta.
Bündnerfleisch: Bündnerfleisch is a smoked and air-dried beef top round, originating the mountains of Switzerland. This charcuterie has become a sought-after delicacy among gourmets throughout the world.
Cocktail Sausages: Bite-size sausages made from premium pork meat, pre-cooked and ready-to-eat cold, right out of the jar.A "must have" on all appetizer platters.Dip into ketchup, medium hot mustard, or horseradish sauce. Great with small gherkins or cocktail onions. Another opportunity: meat fondue. Simply stick the cocktail wieners on the fork, saute' in the oil and enjoy.
Curry Wurst: We offer a pre-curried sausage made by master butcher Binkerts in Baltimore. A very original flavor.Just add regular ketchup and enjoy with a piece of crusty German bread or french fries. In Germany, most Curry Wurst vendors use regular Bratwurst, served with french fries and curry ketchup. This very popular German fast food was invented in Berlin by Herta Heuser in 1948, when she added curry to ketchup to maker her sausages taste just a little more different.
Deutschländer: A premium Brühwurst (pre-cooked, blanched sausage) made with over 80% prime cut pork meat inside a crunchy casing. Just heat in hot water for a few minutes and serve in a bun. A luxury hot dog experience. Eat with potato salad and medium hot mustard or curry ketchup.
Debreziner: These fine-textured sausages with a red-orange color originated in the Hungarian city of Debrecen. Spiced with paprika, garlic, pepper, and marjoram and a light smokey aroma. Laced with tiny pieces of pork fat, which makes this sausage perfect for frying or grilling. Sold in pairs joined at the tip. Eat with gravy, red cabbageand German dumplings
Frankfurter: A smaller, thinner version of the Bockwurst. Originated in Frankfurt in the mid-1800s. Still today, the term "Frankfurter Würstchen" can only be used by butchers in the Frankfurt area. This trademark is protected by German law. Outsider Germany, "frankfurters" became a generic standard.During World War I, Americans switched the names to "hot dog," reflecting the anti/German sentiment of that time. Eat inside a bun with a hot mustard or hot curry ketchup and fried potatoes, pickles and
Gänseleberpastete (Goose Liver Paté):A specialty sausage, goose liver pate is a finely ground meat spread with the fine flavor of goose. Great on whole grain, toasted, or Nordic crisp breads.
Gelbwurst (Yellow Sausage): A Bavarian specialty cold cut, the name comes from the yellow-orange casing, Traditionally, this sausage is made from pork and veal, with ginger, nutmeg and other spices. We have Gelbwurst without and with parsley. Put slices on whole grain breads or crusty rye bread or consume with radishes and Bavarian pretzels.
Jägerwurst (Hunter' Sausage): A pre-cooked sausage (Brühwurst) made from finely ground, lean pork meat that is mixes with coarse ground pork and beef cuts. This sausage is popular all across Germany, usually spiced with pepper, mace, ginger and coriander. The Stiglmeier version also contains a pea inside the sausage, a colorful addition. Hunter sausages are sliced and consumed as cold cuts on bread, cut into cubes and added to pea soup, or cut into large slices and made into "Jägerschnitzel" an Eastern German specialty (not to be confused with the flat, breaded pork or veal schnitzel with hunter sauce).
Käse Krainer (Krainer Cheese Bratwurst): A coarsely-ground sausage made from hormone-free, locally-sourced pork and beef, naturally smoked, and stuffed with chunks of Emmenthaler cheese cubes. The Krainer Cheese sausages originated in Northern Austria, alongside the German border. We recommend to fry or grill these sausages and eat them with whole grain bread and whole grain mustard, or with spaetzle noodles, sauteed mushrooms, broccoli,and/or red cabbage.
Kalbsleberpastete (Calves Liver Paté):Calves liver pate ("Kalbsleberpastete") is a finely ground meat spread made from veal and flavored with celery, onions, spices and a touch of honey. Great on whole grain, toasted, or Nordic crisp breads.
Knockwurst:This finely ground dinner sausage is made from a hormone-free, locally-sourced mix of pork and beef, smoked with real beech wood and expertly seasoned with garlic, marjoram, and other spices. The name Knockwurst (or Knackwurst as they are known in Germany) comes from the crackling sound the hog casing makes when you take a bite. They originated in Northern Germany in the 16th century. We recommend hot Duesseldorf mustard or hot curry ketchup as the condiment of choice. Eat with french fries, fried potatoes, and green asparagus.
Landjäger: This is a smoked, air-cured and semi-dried salami-type sausage, part of Southern Germany, Austrian, and Swiss culinary heritage. Great snack food for hikers and outdoor huntsmen (hence the name). Landjaeger sausage snacks keep without refrigeration but can also be boiled and served with potatoes, spaetzle, and fresh green vegetables.
Leberwurst (Coasely Ground): A cold cut spread
made from pork meat and pork liver, laced with with ham or bacon, seasoned with onions and
proprietary spice mixes. We offer a number of regional variations of coarsely ground liver
Perfect with toasted whole grain bread, topped with slices of pickles,
radish or cold sauerkraut. A healthy alternative to high-calorie dinners. Just
add a mixed salad.
Leberwurst, Bavarian-style (Finely Ground): A mild, country-style liver sausage is made from finely ground pork liver, speckled with bacon for a slightly coarser texture, and flavored with traditional Bavarian spices.
Nussschinken, Westphalian-style: Nußschinken is a prosciutto-type Rohschinken (uncooked ham), cut from the pig knuckle, called Nuss (engl: nut) in German. This Schinken is very lean, with very little fat, as the muscle around the knuckle is much more heavily worked than an average ham. This is why Nussschinken is slightly darker than similar Rohschinken and has a richer flavor as a starting point.
Salami, German Style:Slightly finer and seasoned differently than the Italian originals. The salami whips are very popular protein snacks, Sliced salami is used for Abendbrot. Great for busy folks on the run,
students and children to still the hunger pang in-between.
Schwarzwald Schinken (Black Forest Ham): The real Black Forest ham is a prosciutto-type smoked and cured "raw ham" (Rohschinken), quite different from what is known as the cooked Black Forest ham in the US. Our hams, made by Adler OHG, are made from premium meat cuts, smoked with the help of Black forest fir tree wood, salted by hand, dried in cool mountain air and cured for many weeks. A delicacy that can be used in many dishes.
St. Galler Wurst (St. Gallen Swiss Weisswurst): An authentic, beloved Swiss veal and pork bratwurst, similar in taste and texture to the Bavarian Weißwurst. These sausages are traditionally eaten without mustard and served with a "St. Galler Bürli" bread which is eaten separately from the sausage.
Sülze (Head Cheese): Suelze (souse, brawn, head cheese or cold cut terrine) is a European sausage specialty that originated in the Middle Ages as "peasant food" and today is often served as a unique gourmet specialty. Also known in Austria as Presswurst, in Bavaria as Preßsack, and Zungenwurst, Schwartenmagen or Presskopf in the rest of Germany. Traditionally, the ingredients include meat from the head of animals, such as the tongue or snout. The meat bits are cooked, pressed and suspended in aspic, chilled and eaten as cold cut or salad. (A famous Franconian recipe is "Saurer Presssack" which contains Suelze, Vinegar, Raw Onion slices, salad and herbs). Our Stiglmeier Suelze contains pork snout, garlic, aspic and spices. Consume with original German vinegar, a Bavarian pretzel, radish and cold beer.
Teewurst / Mettwurst (Teawurst): A specialty sausage, similar to leberwurst, ideally consumed as a spread on whole grain, toasted, or Nordic crisp breads. This type of cold cut sausage became very popular in the 19th century, served in the afternoon as savory snack, alongside cookies, slices of cakes, and a cup of tea. Teawurst has a slightly tangy flavor and creamy texture, which makes it an ideal bread spread.
Touristenwurst (Salami Ring): This hickory smoked ring salami, based on an original recipe from Gyula, Hungary, and a popular "hiking tourist" snack in Austria, Italy and Southern Germany, packs a rich umami taste in a small package. Great with pickles, paprika and sliced apples.
Tyrolian Jagdwurst: An Austrian specialty, Bologna-type cold cut sausage, laced with cubes of cooked ham and spiced with a bit garlic and pepper. It's a cold cut popular in Bavaria, Austria and Hungary. Cut into thin slices consume with fresh butter on whole grain breads, pretzels or crusty rye bread and top with mustard, salad or radishes.
Wiener:Wholesome, meaty and authentic German sausages,pre-cooked in the glass jars, no artificial ingredients. Wieners are the same sausages as Frankfurters, except with a crunchy casing.Historians track the name to a native butcher of Frankfurt who moved in the 1810s to Vienna and offered his Frankfurter sausages there. But since he couldn't call themFrankfurters outside that city, he called this Brühwurst Wiener. Eat solo inside a bun with medium mustard or curry ketchup, or add to potato soup, goulash, and shashlik.
Weisswurst: This finely ground sausage does not contain nitrite salt and hence the meat retains a whitish color.It's made from hormone-free, locally-sourced veal and pork,seasoned with parsley, lemon, onion, ginger and other spices. Weisswurst (or White Sausage) is a Bavarian specialty. The mild taste of the meat, accented by parsley note, perfectly matches the famous Bavarian sweet mustard.Consume with a cold Weissbier (wheat beer) before noon, like the Bavarians, who eat this combination as a second breakfast. We also recommend an original Bavarian pretzel as a side dish.