One of the things Germans know a lot about are wursts or sausages. Each town or city in Germany has its local special sausage – from Berlin’s currywurst, to Bavaria’s weisswurst (the ancestor of our Cincinnati brat). The pre Civil War immigrants from the Germanic kingdoms gave Cincinnati our unique metts and brats. And as we plan to kick off Oktoberfest season in Cincinnati this weekend, and dress our brats and metts with thousands of pounds of sauerkraut, it’s important to check-in on the state of sausages in Germany.
Like our baseball or football games, and now increasingly, our soccer games, the best place in Germany to get a good sausage is at a fussball stadion or soccer stadium. And, each team has its own stadionwurst or stadium sausage. The town where my family came from in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Penzlin, has its own stadionwurst, supplied by the local bar Zur Postelrei, to be washed down with the local Lubzer Pils also made in Mecklenburg.
Germans take their stadium sausages very seriously. There’s even a German website http://www.fussballwurst.de that rates and discusses the stadionwursts of each soccer stadium, from the taste, size, girth, and how they’re grilled and served. The site even has a guide book translated , “On the Search for the Perfect Stadium Sausage.” Most German stadium sausages are served with a crusty brotchen or German bun, with the sausage extending out both sides, and some sort or regional spicy mustard.
But one of the things you will NOT see on a German stadionwurst, is the dressing of sauerkraut like we do here in America. Sauerkraut is a side salad, not a condiment, and usually one left for the old folks in need of digestive assistance. Like my friend Jeanne says to out-of-towners when they have sauerkraut for the first time, “You should watch yourself, that stuff will clean you out!” For Germans, the brotchen or bun is more about a holding vehicle for the sausage, and the mustard. You can hold the stadium sausage in one hand in the stands and still stand up and cheer rowdily as you devour it. With sauerkraut – pickled cabbage would be flying everywhere!
So maybe our FC Cincy folks at Nippert should consider branding and creating our own local Stadionwurst. I think Avril-Bleh on Court Street could make a fabulous version for our hometown fussball verein!