Any trip to Nuremberg is not complete without sampling the local sausage. The Nürnberger bratwurst is a staple of street vendors and restaurants alike and is entrenched into the history of the city. Great for a snack as you walk around the Christmas market or as part of a main meal, here are ten things you should know about these meaty delights.
1. In 2003, the Rostbratwurst of Nuremberg became the first sausage to be added to the European protected food list. This means that nobody else can give their product this name unless they make it within the confines of the city and adhere to strict production methods.
2. There are many stories cited as explanations for why these sausages are so small, many of which refer to them needing to fit through small holes. One of the more popular stories is of one Hans Stromer who was locked in jail for various crimes, including the apparent stabbing of a foreign dignitary. Before they sentenced him, he was granted one last wish. His final act as a free man was to ask for two Nuremberg sausages to be passed through the keyhole of his cell every day. During his imprisonment, it is said that Hans Stromer ate around 28,000 bratwurst. However, a slightly less imaginative explanation points to rising prices in the 16th century.
3. Due to their size, a popular way to eat these sausages is three at a time. They are served in a hard roll known as a ‘weggla’ and topped with a generous dollop of mustard.
4. When the bratwurst are slow-cooked in a mix of vinegar and white wine instead of grilled (a process known as ‘Saure Zipfel’), they take on a bluish hue. Because of this, the sausages are often called ‘blue tails’.
5. The ‘brat’ part of these Nuremberg specialities is said to mean two different things depending on whether you consult the modern German language or that used between the 9th and 11th Today, the verb ‘braten’ means to grill or roast, whilst the high classes once used the word ‘brat’ to mean meat that was chopped finely.
6. Bratwursts were first mentioned in German records in 1313. During this time, butchers were told by the city council to use only the finest cuts of meat to make their sausages.
7. Every year, in June, the Nuremberg Bratwurst Village is held is the city’s old town. This festival celebrates the fabled sausage and many other things that are seen to represent this part of Franconia.
8. The perfect accompaniment to your sausage during a Nuremberg city break is glug of traditional red beer. This malty, bottom-fermented beverage was developed around the same time as the first bratwurst, adhering to new purity laws, and was aged in a labyrinth of cellars under the city. Today, red beer is only produced in one Nuremberg brewery - Hausbrauerei Altstadthof.
9. You may be frowned upon by locals if you choose to adorn your bratwurst with ketchup. Try it with mustard or horseradish if you want to comply with age-old tradition.
10. There are many culinary tours in Nuremberg that can tell you more about the history of this much-celebrated sausage and take you to some of the best places to try them. Warning – they’re very moreish.
If you would like to organise a Nuremberg city break, whether it’s in search of sausages or not, we can tailor-make an itinerary especially for you. Contact our team today to start planning the best and ‘wurst’ trip you’ll ever take.