The Bratwurst! Posted by Sten on Jan 28, 2016 in Culture, Food, Traditions
The Bratwurst is one of the first things you will link to Germany. It designates by itself not a specific sausage, but a more general recipe: meat, minced together with herbs and spices, which is either pressed into a Darm (intestine) of a pig or a lamb, or shaped in hot water. This sausage is then brewed and grilled in a fry pan or on a grill.
There are many, many different varieties, though the most famous ones are the Nürnberger Bratwurst and the Thüringer Bratwurst.
Also simply called Nürnberger, these Bavarian sausages are rather short. At a mere 7-9 cm (3-4 inches), it is normal to eat more than just one at a time. When put in a Brötchen (roll), it is normal to put three in – Drei in an Weggla, as it is said in the local dialect. The porc sausage typically contains salt, pepper and marjoram as main herbs and spices, and the Metzger (butcher) is free to add a sprinkle of some other spice.
The Original Nürnberger Rostbratwurst, as it is officially named, is protected as a geschütze geographische Angabe (g.g.A) (Protected Geographical Indication (GPI, or more frequently the French acronym IGP)) by the EU. This also means that there are strict requirements for this sausage: it has to follow the recipe laid down by the city of Nürnberg, and the sausage has to be produced in the municipal area of Nürnberg. The city has many centuries-old restaurants that serve the original Nürnberger Bratwurst.
The Thüringer Bratwurst
This at least 15 cm (6 inches) long sausage is also protected as a g.g.A. Its origin dates back hundreds of years. The main meat is porc, but sometimes also veal or beef. It is typically spiced with salt, pepper, cumin, marjoram and garlic. Originally, 51% of the ingredients had to be from the region Thüringen. However, this requirement was revoked in 2011.
Where does the Bratwurst come from?
This question is hard to answer, since the idea to put some spices and minced meat into an intestine is thousands of years old. It started with the Franks, and from there was developed further in Germany. Especially in the middle ages, the Bratwurst got more of a German identity.
The name Bratwurst has a more certain origin, however. Brat comes from the Old High German word Brät, which refers to minced meat, which is made into a Wurst, a sausage. Nowadays, the word Bratwurst is thought to refer to the verb braten, which means to fry, since this is how you prepare a Bratwurst.
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