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15 Different Types of German Sausage: Names, History & Origin

15 Different Types of German Sausage: Names, History & Origin

Besides beautiful gothic & medieval architectural structures, football, and beer, German sausage also features among the country’s top attractions. Here are the very best, from over 1,500 different types of German sausage.

Unique culinary delicacies are one of the top attractions for many countries. And, Germany has not been left behind, being home to some of the most delicious sausages. Sausage is one of the most palatable German bites that will leave your taste buds asking for more.

These sausages are undoubtedly a source of national pride. And, most locally-made sausage recipes are closely guarded secrets in Germany. Only a few select have access to these exciting recipes.

Germany boasts of hundreds of different sausage types. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 1,500 different types of sausage options. They are eaten with various accompaniments, and each has unique ingredients and flavors created with inimitable recipes.

Here is our list of the best German sausage that you can try as you tour this beautiful country.

Different Types of German Sausage with Pictures

Types of German Sausages

1. Bratwurst

Bratwurst barbecue

Made of finely chopped meat, Bratwurst is one of the yummiest German sausages. It’s usually grilled and then served with a hard roll and German mustard. It’s commonly made from pork meat and not as much from veal and beef. Bratwurst is mainly associated with the verb “braten”, which means roast or pan fry.

Germany has over 40 different varieties of Bratwurst recipes. The recipes differ with the region and locality, most originating from Franconia. Some of the most common Fraconian sausages include Fränkische Bratwurst, Coburger Bratwurst, Nürnberger Rostbratwurst and more.

2. Ahle Wurst

Ahle Wurst sausage

Another delicious german sausage is the Ahle Wurst, a dialectical name meaning an ‘old sausage.’ Made in the Nothern Hesse, German, Ahle Wurst is a hard-pork sausage.

This German sausage is made of bacon and pork meat. Some chefs only season it with pepper and salt, while others add some cloves, nutmeg, sugar, garlic, pepper, cumin, and brandy or rum. The Ahle Wurst can be air-dried or simply smoked.

Traditionally, you were required to process only heavy pigs and cut quality pieces of meat to produce Ahle wurst. Its distinctive feature is slow maturation at reasonably high humidity.

3. Bierwurst

Bierwurst sausage

Bierwurst is another type of German smoked sausage. Originally from Bavaria, Bierwurst has a garlicky flavor, and its color is dark red. For that tasty flavor, Bierwurst sausage is seasoned with paprika, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds.

When making Bierwurst, the meat is first cured and then mixed with other ingredients and rolled into a sausage. After that, it’s cured further, then smoked and blanched. This Bierwurst sausage is then sold as sandwich meat.

An unsmoked, fresh Bierwurst can only last for two days in a refrigerator, while a pre-cooked one lasts for 5 to 7 days. This delicacy is eaten as a snack and you can take it with a cup of your favorite drink.

4. Weißwurst

Weisswurst sausage

Weisswurst is, in the literal sense, a white sausage. This Bavarian sausage is made from minced pork back, bacon, and veal. This type of German breakfast sausage is tasty as it’s flavored with lemon zest, parsley, onions, mace, ginger, and cardamom with a few variations.

The mixture is then stuffed into a pork casing. The sausage is then split into individual pieces measuring 10 to 12 centimeters length-wise and 3 to 4 centimeters in thickness. No preservation method is done, and so these sausages are highly perishable. Traditionally, these sausages were served during breakfast in the early morning or as a snack between breakfast and lunch.

They are boiled for about 10 minutes, which turns them greyish-white. They are served in a bowl along with the boiling water used during preparation to avoid cooling down too much. This traditional German food is typically served with a side of potato salad and/or soft pretzels.

5. Wollwurst

Weißwürste - german sausage

Made from pork and veal, Wollwurst is another sweet sausage. Also known as “Nackerte,” “Geschwollene,” Geschlagene,” or “Oberländer,” these sausages usually are thinner and longer than Weißwürste. The Wollwurst recipe is similar to that of Weißwurst but with less pork rind and is parsley-free.

Another distinctive feature of Wollwurst sausage is that it doesn’t have a casing. Instead, it’s dipped into hot water and boiled for 10 minutes, and then chilled. This gives it the typical ‘wooly’ surface. Thus, this sausage is jokingly referred to as being ‘naked’ as it’s not stuffed in animal intestines.

You can eat it as it is, or fry it first. You do that by first dipping it in milk and then sautéing it until it’s golden or brown-yellow. During the process, the sausage swells up and locals thus call it G’Schwollne.

To enjoy this sausage, you can serve it with gravy or Bavarian warm potato salad prepared with vinegar and oil. In Baden-Württemberg, this sausage (commonly called “Oberländer”) helps make Currywurst a variant of Stockwurst.

6. Leberkäse

Leberkäse - german sausage

Leberkäse means liver cheese- but interestingly, this sausage neither contains liver nor cheese. This Bavarian type of sausage is similar to a pink meatloaf made with finely minced pork, corned beef, and onions.

Made by finely crushing the ingredients and then baking on a bread pan like a loaf until it forms a crunchy golden crust, Leberkäse is one of the yummiest German sausages. It is traditionally spiced with marjoram and sometimes pickles to taste.

Served as freshly baked slices, Leberkäse is conventionally enjoyed in a variety of ways. It can be served hot on a bread roll or medium-hot with sweet mustard accompanied by potato salad.

Also, it may be pan-fried until brown and then served with a fried egg, home fries, or German potato salad. Some people enjoy it when cut into thin slices and served cold with different sandwiches, and generally seasoned with pickled cucumbers.

7. Pinkel

Pinkel smoked sausage

Pinkel is a different type of smoked sausage mainly found in Northwest Germany, especially the Oldenburg, Osnabrück, and Bremen region and in East Friesland and Frisia.

Pinkel sausage is made of bacon, beef, pig lard, groats of barley or oats, salt, onions, and pepper, among other spices. The exact recipe composition is secretly guarded, just like that of most other types of sausage.

Traditionally, Pinkel consists of high meat content and other ingredients filled into edible pigs’ small intestines. Today, however, some Pinkels have been made with artificial casings.

It is served with kale stew and pork belly, a dish called Grünkohl mit Pinkel. Grünkohlfahrt (“kale trips”) or Kohl-und-Pinkel-Touren (which is “kale and pinkel trips”) was a dish that was eaten to celebrate winter traditionally followed by Grünkohl mit Pinkel dish and schnapps.

8. Regensburger Wurst

Regensburger Wurst

Invented in Regensburg in the late 19th century, this is a boiled sausage with coarse and fine pork fillings. The sausage comes in a compact shape and measures around 10 cm in length and 4cm in diameter.

The recipe for this sausage consists of finely grounded pork without fat and some pork cubes. Then, it’s spiced with salt and other spices. The sausage is stuffed into a beef intestines sausage casing. These sausages are smoked and then boiled.

It can be served either cold or hot with mustard, oil, vinegar, and chopped onions, a dish called Regensburger Wurstsalat. Alternatively, the sausage may be served and eaten as a snack in a popular dish called Regensburger Semmel.

The dish consists of Regensburger Wurst sausage, where it’s broiled and then halved in a bread roll with pickled gherkin, sweet mustard, and horseradish.

9. Teewurst

Teewurst

By © Alice Wiegand, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Invented in Pomerania in the mid-19th century, Teewurst is derived from the name ‘tea sausage’ as it was served in sandwiches at teatime. Made from one part bacon and two parts raw pork, this is another delectable German cuisine and is a well-known spreadable sausage.

The ingredients of Teewurst are finely minced, seasoned, and then packed in artificial porous casings.

The sausages are then smoked and left for 7 to 10 days to mature and develop their classic taste. Teewurst comprises 30% to 40% fat, making it particularly easy to spread.

10. Debrecener

Debrecener - german sausage

A Debrecener which is Debre(c)ziner, in German, is a type of pork sausage made of uniform texture and is reddish-orange.

Named after Debrecen, a Hungarian city, this sausage remains most people’s favorite.

Despite having its origins in Hungary, this sausage has become a famous cuisine in virtually every region of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, including Austria, Slovenia, Northern Italy, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Western Ukraine, and western and central Romania.

The sausage is heavily spiced with garlic, paprika, pepper, and marjoram. The sausage is lightly smoked, and sometimes it remains unsmoked. It’s usually sold in pairs where the two pieces are joined at one end.

Just like traditionally, Debreceni is transversely sliced at specific intervals, baked, broiled, and then fried. This makes it a coil, creating a linked series of sausage coins.

11. Extrawurst

Extrawurst bread

Extrawurst is another type of wurst, which is a famous Austrian type of scalded cold cut. The sausage is made from a mixture of pork, beef, and bacon fat which are well-seasoned. It has a fine texture, light color, and is usually moist.

This sausage is similar to the American bologna sausage. It’s served cold or as a cold cut often in a Wurstsalat.

One type of Extrawurst called Gurkerlextra contains small lumps of pickled cucumber. Pikantwurst, another variety, on the other hand, includes finely chopped green and red peppers.

See Related: Historical Landmarks in Frankfurt

12. Kochwurst

Kochwurst

By The original uploader was Rainer Zenz at German Wikipedia. – Own work by the original uploader., CC BY-SA 3.0,

This is a type of pre-cooked German sausage. Its ingredients are cooked before preparing the sausage meat. Then gelatin solidified fat, or blood proteins normally coagulated by heating, are used to hold the individual components together. Unlike Bruhwurst, Kochwurst doesn’t remain solid but more or less becomes liquefied on heating.

The sausage is filled into tins, jars, or intestines and then boiled in steam or hot water. Kochwurst often contains offal-like tongue or liver, blood, and cereal (in Grützwurst).

Its ingredients are perishable and thus shouldn’t be kept for long. Traditionally, this sausage was popularly made on slaughtering days, and one of its usual ingredients is Schlachtplatte.

Pasteten is a famous square-shaped pie also counted as Kochwurst. In some German parts, Kochwurst is also used to refer to smoked Kohlwurst and mettwurst typically cooked in pots and served as Grünkohl accompaniment or as a soup ingredient.

See Related: Best Restaurants in Berlin, Germany

13. Knipp

Knipp - german sausage

Knipp, common in the Hanover area, is a type of sausage made by mixing grains and meat. The sausage is made from groats of oats, liver, pork belly, pork head, pork rind, and broth. Seasoning is done using salt, pepper, and allspice.

Usually, it’s rolled in 30 cm long and 10 cm to 15 cm thick. This smoked sausage is served with apple sauce (Apfelmus) and beetroot, sour and sweet pumpkin, boiled or roast potatoes and gherkins, or even hot or cold wholemeal bread.

For many years, Knipp was considered a ‘poor man’s delicacy, because it’s made from butcher’s scraps and offal.

See Related: How to Make German Potato Pancakes

14. Gelbwurst

Gelbwurst

By hermannk at German Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

This is a yellowish-white Bavarian sausage invented in 1905 and can be found throughout Southern Germany. The sausage skin edges are ordinarily yellow or orange. It’s made from veal, pork and seasoned with mixed spices such as nutmeg and ginger.

Traditionally, the sausage contained brains, which is not the case today. Despite this, this sausage is still called Hirnwurst, or rather ‘brain sausage’ in some parts of German. Often it’s served cold on a slice of bread. It’s usually consumed straight away, as it can quickly become rancid.

See Related: Best Breweries in Cologne, Germany

15. Jagdwurst

Jagdwurst

By Tsungam – Own work, CC0,

This is a German sausage made from finely grounded pork sausage meat, coarse pieces of pork belly, and lean pork. Beef is included in some Jagdwurst recipes.

The meat is added salt and spices such as mace, green peppercorns, coriander, and ginger. In some North German recipes, mustard seeds are added, and in South German, pieces of pistachio are part of its ingredients.

This sausage can be served hot in soup and other dishes or cold in sandwiches. In the Eastern parts of Germany, Jagdwurst is often layered with bread crumbs, a delicacy called Jägerschnitzel (Hunter’s schnitzel).

Most popular in the German Democratic Republic, the sausage is considered hard times low-budget dish tasting this sausage is one of the best things to do in Potsdam. It’s made of sausage instead of lean meat due to easy availability and lower prices.

It’s good not to confuse this sausage with a dish that has a similar name and is available across all German-speaking countries. The dish consists of an escalope of beef and lean pork served with a mushroom sauce Schnitzel nach Jäger Art (also called huntsman-style schnitzel).

FAQ

What’s the best German sausage?

It’s difficult to pick a favorite German sausage as they all have their own unique taste. Some are even sweet and some are smoked. Personally, I like the Thüringer and Weisswurst!

What are the most popular German sausages?

Bratwursts are likely the most popular German sausage. It contains meats like pork and beef, and it’s seasoned with marjoram, caraway, various herbs, and spices.

How many types of wurst are there in Germany?

When someone talks about “German wurst,” they are talking about the boiled sausages with either fruit, vegetables, or blood as a filling. There are around 2,000 different types of these in Germany alone, and even more variations across other countries that have German ancestry.

What are German white sausages made of?

Bavarian white sausage or weisswurst is a pale-colored link that is largely composed of veal with some pork skin. They have a milder flavor and fewer spices than other sausages.

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