Sunday, July 17, 2011

Würst of the week - Thüringer Rostbratwurst

This week's Würst is the Thüringer Rostbratwurst.

This Würst is a unique type of roasted Bratwurst from the German state of Thuringia, a region known as the green heart of Germany, due to the dense forests covering the state's mountainous terrain (Harz mountains to the north, and the Thuringian Forest to the south).

The oldest known reference to the Thüringer Rostbratwurst, found in the state archives, is from the transcript of a bill from the Arnstadt Convent in 1404. This Würst also has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under EU law.

The Thüringer is made from only finely minced pork, beef, or sometimes veal, and in addition to salt and pepper, can be seasoned with caraway, marjoram, and garlic. A stipulation of its PGI status, is that at least 51% of the ingredients must come from the state of Thuringia. These ingredients are blended together and filled into a pig or sheep intestine.
Thüringers are distinguished from other Bratwurst and the many other types of German Wurst by their distinctive spice mix, but significantly also their low fat content (25% as compared to up to 60% in other Wurst).

Generally sold raw, Thüringers are generally roasted over charcoal or on a grill rubbed with bacon. The fire shouldn't be so hot that the skin breaks, though some charring is desired. It is a tradition in Thuringia that the grills be cooled with beer rather than water.
Usually, a Thuringian sausage is presented in a cut, open roll and brushed with mustard. And this being a Wurst from Thuringia, don't forget to wash it down with Köstritzer Schwarzbier!

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