Weißwurst and Bavaria go together like Weizen beer and its foam crown; one simply does not go without the other. Since its official invention in 1857 (which apparently was the lucky result of a production error), the Weißwurst has established itself as a staple in Bavarian culture and tradition, and moreover assisted in the humorous coining of the Weißwurstäquator; the white sausage equator, that indicates to the Bavarian the beginning of “foreign territory” for anything outside of Southern Germany (although I couldn’t say how humorous this notion actually was). Regardless, when visiting Bavaria, the consumption of the iconic Weißwurst (Bavarian white sausage) is almost obligatory, but for many tourists, however, it turns out to be a rather traumatising experience. This is in part due to the sausage’s unusual characteristics, but it is primarily intensified by the judgemental glances given by locals if the sausage is consumed incorrectly.
Admittedly, this article will inform you about the proper traditions and customs surrounding the Weißwurst, so that next time you’re about to dig in, you can actually focus on the excellent flavour of the sausage, instead of worrying about being hit over the head with a Bierkrug.
- Weißwürste are consumed before noon. This tradition stems from the fact that the sausage was prepared fresh every morning and had to be consumed quickly as they are preservative free. While today’s refrigerators allow for looser reins, Bavarians are still creatures of tradition and it is frowned upon to consume Weißwurst past lunch time.
- Weißwürste are never cooked (!), but simply heated (steeped) for 10 minutes in hot water. They remain in the water until ready to be consumed to keep them from cooling down.
- Weißwürste are accompanied by sweet Bavarian mustard, fresh Brezen (Bavarian Pretzels) and a cold Weizen (Wheat beer).
- Most importantly: Weißwürste are never (!) consumed with their skin. Once on your plate, the trick with this particular sausage is to get the spiced veal and pork mixture out of it’s pork casing. Here are four ways to go about it:
- Zuzeln: the most traditional manner involves taking the sausage with your hand, dipping one (open) end into the sweet mustard and sucking the meat out of the skin with the help of your teeth and tongue.
- Längsschnitt: this more popular and discreet approach entails the long-way cutting of the sausage on one side, folding it open and, while holding down the skin in the middle parting with the fork, “rolling” the meat out to the side using the knife. Then simply cut a piece from the meat, dip in the mustard and eat.
- Abziehen: this method simply uses a knife to make a cut in the skin on one end of the sausage and, using one hand, gently pulling the skin from the meat while holding it in the other.
- Kreuzschnitt: only for the total Weißwurst pro masters; this technique involves fixating the sausage with your fork, then making a diagonal cut approximately four centimetres from one end, and twisting out the meat with a fork and knife. This strategy is continued in a zig-zag pattern along the entire sausage.
While all of these ‘rules’ make the Weißwurst seem terribly complicated to consume and its pale appearance is not the most appetising, I promise you that its flavour will make up for all the trouble. If you follow these guidelines, you are sure to earn one or two approving nods from the famously grumpy locals. Now all that’s left for me to say is “An Guadn!” (Bavarian for ‘Enjoy!’).