10 ways to eat a German sausage



It is a favorite in Germany, and each region has its own version. There are over 50 kinds of bratwurst, and they all vary in size, texture and seasoning - so no wonder it's confusing. Although Germans now associate "Brat" with "braten," which means to fry, broil or grill, the name originally derives from Old High German: "Brät" meant finely chopped meat.


Nürnberger (Nuremberger)

Among the different varieties of Bratwurst, you can recognize the one produced in Nuremberg by its size. It's surprisingly small, not much bigger than a pinkie finger. Historical documents already mentioned this wurst back in 1313. These sausages are traditionally grilled over flames, served six at a time, and accompanied by sauerkraut and potatoes with horseradish or mustard on the side.



A currywurst is simply a steamed bratwurst seasoned with ketchup and covered with curry powder. In a country specialized in high-tech cars, it sounds a bit exaggerated to call this fast-food snack an "invention," but Herta Heuwer, the Berlin cook who developed the special sauce, actually patented it in 1959. It's since become a street food classic. There's even a currywurst museum in Berlin.



This veal Bavarian sausage translates as "white sausage" for its color. It has no preservatives, nor is it smoked, which is why it's meant to be eaten fresh the day it was made. A German saying recommends the Weisswurst should never get to hear the church bells ring at noon. To eat it, some suck out the meat from the skin, or, more discreetly, cut it in half and roll out the filling with a fork.



The German Blutwurst (blood sausage) is usually made with pork blood and bacon. As it is already cooked, it does not need to be eaten hot - but some people do. Some regions include it in dishes with colorful names: the Rhineland's "Himmel und Erde" (Sky and Earth) combines it with mashed potatoes and apple sauce. "Tote Oma" (Dead Grandma) is Berlin's way of serving it with liverwurst and potatoes.



The Landjäger is a smoked semi-dried sausage traditionally made in different German-speaking countries. It can be kept without refrigeration, which is why it became a popular snack for everyone spending time outdoors, from hikers to soldiers. "Jäger" means "hunter" in German.



This is another type of sausage which can be very different from region to region. Strongly flavored, its minced meat (usually pork, but sometimes beef) is preserved through a curing and smoking process. In the South of Germany, it is usually spreadable, whereas the northern varieties are harder and more like salami.



There are different forms of Leberwurst, which has its anglicized form, "liverwurst." They can generally be defined as German pre-cooked sausages which are spreadable. As the name reveals, they usually contain liver - often from pigs or calves, but some varieties are made from goose, turkey or even anchovies.



From breakfast to that last evening snack, Germans have traditionally found a way to eat sausage throughout the day. Teewurst means "tea sausage," a name which is believed to come from it being served in sandwiches at teatime. What makes it so easy to spread? The fat: It makes up about 30 to 40 percent of this rich wurst.



Salami is typically Italian, but it is just as popular in sausage-loving Germany - and it's much more than just a pizza topping. If Italians usually stick to coffee and sweet bread rolls for breakfast, Germans will gladly serve slices of salami first thing in the morning, too. They'll enjoy it all day, as salami shows up for the simple evening meal called "Abendbrot" as well.

Love it or hate it - Germany is famous for its sausage. Here are 10 popular variations of the meaty treat.

Click through the gallery above for a closer look at some of Germany's most popular sausage varieties. 

For more video and articles about German language and culture, visit dw.com/meetthegermans.

For a linguistic take on German sausages, click through the gallery below. 


Das ist mir wurst (It doesn't matter to me)

Just don't care? Then it's "sausage" to you. Austrian singer, drag queen and LGBT activist Conchita Wurst has said he chose his second name based on this German expression - because it just doesn't matter where you're from or what you look like.


Eine Extrawurst kriegen (to get special treatment)

Getting an extra sausage can be sweet rather than savory if it's an extra scoop of ice cream. An Extrawurst can be anything above and beyond what the others receive - like time off work when your co-workers are doing overtime, or a free first-class upgrade when your friends are sitting in coach. If you have three sausages on your plate while the others have two, an Extrawurst is an Extrawurst.


Es geht um die Wurst (It's now or never)

You're a sprinter who's been training for the Olympic games for the past four years. The day of the race finally arrives. While you've been watching your diet, of course, now "it's all about the sausage." That is, the decisive moment has arrived and the stakes are high. If you're Usain Bolt, then chances are pretty safe the outcome will be in your favor.


Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei! (Everything has an end, only the sausage has two)

All good things come to an end. But German optimism - apparently not an oxymoron after all - shines through in this expression. Here, sausage - which indeed has two ends - stands for a second chance. It's up to you to make the most of it.


Mit dem Schinken nach der Wurst werfen (to downgrade or give up an advantage)

To "throw ham after sausage" sounds like a vegetarian's nightmare. Indeed, the situation could be dire, or at least is becoming so. Ham is more valuable meat than sausage, so having to throw the latter means the good stuff has run out. Of course, as most of us learned at a young age, food shouldn't be thrown at all. But that's another story.


Die beleidigte Leberwurst spielen (To act all offended)

C'mon, stop acting like a "beleidigte Leberwurst" - an offended liver sausage. Legend has it that "offended liver" dates back to the Middle Ages when people thought our emotions, particularly anger, were connected to our livers. When that was disproven, a sausage story was added for fun: A butcher cooked a pot of sausages and the liver variety was upset that it took longer than the others.


Armes Würstchen (You poor thing)

"You poor little sausage!" Being called a sausage is certainly not a compliment - even in a country that loves to eat them. It's often used half seriously to show (partial) sympathy with someone in a tough but not life-threatening situation. Perhaps they have two sick toddlers at home or have to cram for three exams at once. Just get over it? Sausage is also a comfort food.

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