Knockwurst and Other Delectable German Sausages

Categories: Family and Kids, Dining

Knockwurst and Other Delectable German Sausages
Knockwurst and Other Delectable German Sausages

[ source: Wikipedia]

There’s no bad time to enjoy knockwurst sausages, but cool weather is when these German treats strut their stuff at Oktoberfests and Christmas Markets. Knowing a bit about even a few of Germany's varied sausages makes munching all the more enjoyable.


Spelled knackwurst in German, this short, plump sausage gets its name from the German verb knacken, meaning to crack, a reference to the crisp crunch the casing makes when bitten into. Though Germans tend to season with a light hand, knockwurst sausages are among the nation’s spiciest. The meat mix of the original Holstein version was beef and pork. Today, a veal and pork is more common. The distinguishing spice is garlic, and the sausage comes in both fresh and lightly smoked varieties. Knockwurst sausages are delicious grilled, broiled, boiled or fried. Like many German sausages, they are served with mustard, dark bread and sauerkraut or potato salad.


Every region makes its own distinctive bratwurst and while most are all pork, some include veal or even bacon. Less spicy than knockwurst sausages, the bratwurst blend depends on the maker. Bratwurst is fresh or smoked, pan-fried or grilled and is often served on a white bun with a dollop of mustard or horseradish.


This long, thin, slightly smoky sausage is known throughout the world as a Frankfurter, after the city of its birth. The traditional version is all pork and comes in a natural casing that produces a satisfying pop at the first bite.


The complex spice mix of cardamom, lemon, onion and parsley makes this southern German sausage a must to try. The traditional way to eat it is boiled and without the skin, along with a condiment of sweet mustard and a side of soft pretzels.


Created in Bavaria in the early 1900s, this sausage is made from a mixture of pork, veal or chicken. The spice mix is sweet rather than savory and can include nutmeg, ginger, mace, cardamom and lemon. Many enthusiasts consider it the pinnacle of the sausage world. The best way to enjoy it is cold, on an open-faced sandwich.


While Germany is best known for its fresh sausages, this semi-dry version from the southern regions resembles a pepperoni stick. Made from beef, pork, red wine, sugar and spices, the taste is similar to salami. Landjäger is a popular snack because it doesn’t require refrigeration or cooking. When offered as a main meal, it’s boiled and served with boiled potatoes and fresh greens.

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Bettina Kraft

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