GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — One of the most anticipated meals in southern Germany is the “Weisswurstfruehstueck,” or white sausage breakfast. Eating Weisswurst, or white sausage, is one of the many traditions a person can partake in when coming to Bavaria. But why do Germans eat it, and what is the right way to eat it? Here are some helpful tips and tricks that will help you impress some of the locals.
How do you cook it?
- Weisswürste are supposed to be cooked in hot, but not boiling water, and warmed up for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once they are hot, they are ready to be eaten and removed from the water. When you order Weisswürste in a restaurant, they are usually served in a bowl of hot water to keep them warm longer. But don’t be mistaken, the liquid is not a soup.
- Remove Weisswürste from the water and enjoy while still warm.
Warning: White sausages are delicate. You should never boil the sausages, because they tend to burst open in boiling water. Additionally, do not leave remaining Weisswürste submerged too long, because they will lose flavor and become watery.
When do you eat it?
The best time to eat Weisswürste is in the morning, and they should never be eaten after noon. An old saying goes, “No Weisswurst should ever hear the afternoon church bells.” This tradition stems from the lack of preservation options during the 19th century. The meat could not be kept cool, so consumption was necessary before turning bad. Even though preservation options have since developed, this tradition is still alive today. Since the dish might be a little heavy early in the morning, the perfect time to eat Weisswürste is around 10 a.m.
How do you eat it?
There are many ways to eat a Weisswurst. Depending on where you are, there are different ways and rules for consumption. For example, the real connoisseur would never strip the sausage naked all at once, but would instead skin and cut it part by part — only revealing the piece of the sausage about to be eaten. However, in Munich you do not use a knife at all. Instead, you “zuzel” the sausage link out of the skin by eating it with your hand and sucking the meat out of the sausage casing. As unmannered as this sounds, it is acceptable throughout Munich, but only Munich. And especially in the Munich area, the amount of sausages you eat is essential. Never eat an even number of white sausage links. While some say it brings bad luck, the real origin of this rule is unknown.
The most important rule is to never eat the skin of Weisswurst. Contrary to other sausages, such as Bratwurst, the skin should not be eaten because it is chewy and ruins the taste.
What do you eat with it?
Traditionally, Weisswurst is eaten with pretzels and sweet mustard. As for refreshments, drinking beer with a white sausage breakfast is an unquestionable part of the tradition. Since Germany is a beer nation, there are plenty of alcohol-free options to choose from as well. Just remember, Weissbier, or white beer, goes best with Weisswurst.
Where do you eat it?
An interesting fact about this tradition is that it does not apply to all of Germany. This tradition is mainly held in southern Germany — especially in the area surrounding Munich. Since eating white sausages is the No. 1 symbol linked to Bavarian food culture, a metaphoric white sausage equator was established over the years. It describes an imaginary cultural border between the parts of Bavaria that eat white sausages and the rest of Germany. Mostly, the northern parts of Germany neither produce, nor offer, white sausages. But no matter where you are, you can impress any Bavarian native with this Weisswurst eating knowledge.
Helpful Key Terms:
- Weisswurstfruehstueck: white sausage breakfast
- Weisswurst: white sausage (singular form)
- Weisswürste: white sausages (plural form)
- Weisswurstsenf: white sausage mustard (a.k.a. sweet mustard)
- Zuzel: a Bavarian term that describes the act of sucking a sausage out of its casing