Bratwurst: Germany’s most popular food


Bratwurst from Octoberfes, in Munich

Culled from the ‘German food guide’


A long tradition of sausage-making exists in Germany; more than 1500 different types of sausage  are made. Most Wurst is made with natural casings of pork, sheep or lamb intestines. Among the most popular and most common are Bratwurst, usually made of ground pork and spices, the Wiener (Viennese), which may be pork or beef and is smoked and fully cooked in a water bath.

Some Bratwurst are sold raw, while others are sold pre-cooked.

a. The Pre-cooked

The most common type of Bratwurst is the pre-cooked kind. Their shelf-life is longer and they are easier and faster to grill. You have to simply brown them in a pan or on the grill and they are finished and ready to be eaten.

b. Un-cooked

Grilling them in their raw form requires skill because they must be fully cooked inside without burning the outside.

Once fully cooked, grill it in their raw form without pre-cooking, grill them over low heat and frequently spritz them water or beer to cool the skin and prevent burning.


Types of Bratwurst

Every region in Germany has its own version of the Bratwurst. Over 50 kinds are available in Germany, differing in size, seasonings, and texture. Below we describe some of the more well-known

1.Kulmbacher Bratwurst
The Kulmbacher type, from the city of Kulmbach in Bavaria, is made mainly from finely ground veal. They are long and thin.

2. Nürnberger Rostbratwurst
This is a small, thin wurst from the city of Nürnberg. It is no longer than 3-4 inches and weighs no more than 1 oz. They are traditionally served is sets of 6 or 12 (depending on your appetite) with horseradish and sauerkraut or potato salad.

3. Coburger Bratwurst
This originates from the the city of Coburg in Bavaria, and it  is made from a minimum of 15% veal or beef, and its seasonings include only salt, pepper, nutmeg, and lemon zest. It is coarse in texture and measures about 10 inches in length. Traditionally it is grilled over pinecones and served in a bread roll (Brötchen).

4. Nordhessische Bratwurst
The Nordhessische Bratwurst (from Northern Hessen) is similar to the Thüringer Rostbratwurst in taste. It is made from coarsely ground pork and is heavily seasoned. It measures around 8 inches in length. Traditionally, it is grilled over a wood fire and served on a cut-open roll (Brötchen) with mustard.

5. Rote Wurst
The Rote Wurst is a favorite Bratwurst of the Swabian region. It is similar to the Bockwurst, and is made from finely ground pork and bacon. Its taste is spicy. To prevent splitting during grilling or pan frying, an X is cut into the ends of the sausage. The ends open during cooking, but the rest of the sausage remains in tact, giving it its traditional shape.

Thüringer Rostbratwurst The Thüringer Rostbratwurst is a spicy sausage from Thüringen. It is long (6-8 inches) and thin in shape. Traditionally, it is grilled over a wood fire and eaten with mustard and bread.

6. Würzburger Bratwurst
The Würzburger Bratwurst, also known as the Winzerbratwurst, comes from the city of Würzburg. It’s size is similar to the Thüringer Rostbratwurst, but its ingredients include white Franken wine.


Bratwurst Cooking Tips

• To get the wurst to a nice, dark brown color, brush them with beer before grilling or frying. Alternatively, sprinkle it with a little sugar. The sugar caramelizes, giving the Bratwurst a rich brown color.

• To prevent the wurst’s skin from splitting, heat them in hot (not boiling) water for 5 minutes. Dry them, then sprinkle them with flour. Fry them in a frying pan with a little oil or butter.

• For a different flavor, add fresh sage, rosemary, or oregano to the frying pan and brown the wurst with the herbs.



Where it the name Bratwurst come from?
Most people would guess that the name comes from the German word braten (to fry). However, it actually comes from the word Brät, which refers to the meat mixture that makes up the sausage. It is therefore, in some regions in Germany, also refered to as the Brätwurst.


Who invented the Bratwurst?
It has been a long standing argument between the people of Thüringen and those of Franconia (Franken). Each claims to have invented the Bratwurst. In Thüringen, the oldest evidence of the It is from the year 1404; in Franconia, the oldest record is from the year 1313 from the city of Nürnberg. However, a Researcher from Würzburg, Heinrich Höllerl, has discovered that the bratwurst has its origins with the Celtics and it was the Franconians that further developed it



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