Bratwurst History

Sep 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Bratwurst, History

A is a sausage composed of pork, beef, or veal. The name is German, derived from Old High German brätwurst, from brät-, which is finely chopped meat and -wurst, or sausage. Though the brat in describes the way the sausages are made, it is often misconstrued to be derived from the German verb “braten”, which means to pan fry or roast. are usually grilled and sometimes cooked in broth or beer.

How the sausage is served varies by region. In Thuringia, it is often eaten with hot German mustard in a bread roll or Brötchen. There and further south, the bratwurst is often served “pinched” in a bread roll, much like a forerunner of the American hot dog in a bun. It is a very popular form of “fast food” in German-speaking countries, often cooked and sold from small stands and street vendors. Recipes for the sausage can also vary; some sources list over forty different varieties of German bratwurst.

A giant wurst-and-bun statue can be found at the main intersection of Holzhausen, the location of the German Bratwurst Museum (Deutsches Bratwurstmuseum). The museum, run by the Friends of Thuringian Bratwurst, opened in 2006 and is devoted only to the Thuringian sausage.

bratwurstThe oldest document in the museum mentions bratwurst for the first time in 1404 in Thuringia. In 1410 followed the County of Katzenelnbogen.

In the United States
The Bratwurst was popularized in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin in the 1920’s. In general, each local butcher shop would take orders and hand make bratwurst fresh to be picked up on a particular day. The fat content of the sausages was substantial, making it necessary to avoid spoilage. Much of the fat was removed during the cooking over charcoal. Usually one kept a pan of cold water handy to the grill, so it was easy to dip one’s fingers in and fling the water onto the flames caused by the burning of the excess fat.

The bratwurst (or “brat”) also became popular as a mainstay of sports stadiums after Bill Sperling introduced brats to major league baseball in Milwaukee County Stadium in 1953. The brats were such a hit, Sperling said, that Duke Snider of the Brooklyn Dodgers took a case back to New York, and the rest is .

The type of bratwurst most commonly found in the United States is the larger variety (not the smaller “Nuremberg-style” bratwurst), approximately one inch in diameter, reddish-brown in color, and made of a combination of beef and pork, and sometimes smoked. Bratwurst made with chicken or turkey, and even vegetarian versions, are increasingly found in American grocery stores.

In the U.S., fresh brats are typically grilled, then sometimes placed in simmering beer or water, often with onions or peppers, and allowed to simmer until are well cooked. Brats are occasionally boiled, especially during the winter in areas where frankfurters are prepared with this method. Smoked brats, which are pre-cooked, need only be heated through. Smoked bratwurst may be sliced crosswise and cooked on a griddle. Either type may be cooked on a griddle whole, but care must be taken to fully cook fresh bratwurst. Another method of cooking involves parboiling the sausage in a mixture of beer, onions, and butter before grilling and serving it. Brats may be eaten with or without a bun with mustard and sauerkraut. Bratwursts, unlike hot dogs, are seldom eaten with ketchup.

The world’s largest brat fest takes place every year in Madison, Wisconsin during the Memorial Day weekend. America’s largest supplier of “brats” is the Johnsonville Foods company of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.

Courtesty of Wikipedia

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