A taste of Bavaria to savour
A taste of Bavaria to savour
A culinary ramble
Bavarian sausage and meat products enjoy great popularity far beyond the immediate region.
Whether Franconia, Eastern Bavaria, Upper Bavaria or the Allgäu – each region has its own unique specialities that people love.
Spicy, luscious, juicy: the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst
Seven o’clock in the morning – and there’s a hint of marjoram in the air: For two hours now, sausage-making has been underway in the cellar in the “Bratwursthäusle”. Legs and shoulders of pork are being transformed into the traditional Nuremberg Rostbratwurst speciality sausage that is popular throughout the world. “What’s typical about it is its size; seven to nine centimetres long and 20 to 22 millimetres thick,” explains head chef Werner Behringer, who has been running the business since the early 60s. His son Kai has been part of the team for 26 years. The sausages, which are produced in the Behringer’s own butcher’s shop, are then sold at the family’s three typically Franconian inns: the “Bratwursthäusle”, the “Bratwurstglöcklein” and the “Goldene Posthorn”.
The Bratwurst restaurants in the heart of Nuremberg open their doors at 10 o’clock. Together with 30 employees, father and son serve up delicious variations of the sausage to numerous guests from far and wide. “Traditionally the sausages are grilled in the centre of the restaurant on an open beech wood grill and then served on hand-cast tin plates,” explains Kai Behringer. The sausages are also served as “Blaue Zipfel” (bratwurst cooked in vinegar) or smoked. Everyone has a different preference; it’s purely a matter of taste.
Whilst Werner and Kai Behringer deal with the daily running of the three restaurants and nurture their relationships with their customers, their wives take care of the finances, personnel accounting and orders. “Our family has been in the catering business for four generations,” says Werner Behringer. “Everyone’s got their own particular area of responsibility. Every so often we need to have a discussion, but it’s the junior member who has the last say. This is more or less how we handle the handover to the next generation.”
'Traditionally the sausages are grilled in the centre of the restaurant on an open beech wood grill and then served on hand-cast tin plates.'
If there’s anything left over in the evening, the butchers vacuum pack the delicacy and sell it through their online shop. This means that it doesn’t end up in the bin, and that bratwurst fans from far away can also indulge their love of this Franconian speciality.
Regensburg sausage to go
From Franconia we head west: In the Upper Palatinate, sausage maker Wilhelm Reisinger is joking with his guests. “ I love being with people and having a chat and a laugh. If I enjoy my work the customer notices this,” he says with conviction.
'The sausages are smoked. Then horseradish, sweet mustard and gherkins are added.'
In 2011 the 46-year old trained electrical fitter took over the mobile sausage stand in Neupfarrplatz in Regensburg together with his wife – and he is now the fourth generation to run it. The story of the “Wurstbraterei Reisinger” stand begins shortly after the Second World War, when his great-grandfather opened the business in 1946.
Wilhelm Reisinger takes a sausage from the grill and places it in a roll. It smells spicy and smoky. In 1955 the now legendary Regensburg Knackersemmel (sausage snack) with all the trimmings was dreamed up – the sausage griller’s pet project.
“The sausages are smoked. Then horseradish, sweet mustard and gherkins are added,” he explains. A delicacy you soon grow to love.
Metzgerei Sedlmayr: Woman power from Garmisch-Patenkirchen
In Upper Bavaria, master butcher Ursula Sedlmayr tries out new recipes for her strings of raw sausages. “If you can have pepper sausage, why not ginger, onion, cranberry, lebkuchen and red wine as well,” says the butcher from Garmisch. Ursula Sedlmayr loves trying out new ideas and never lets the fact that she is a woman in a man’s world get in her way.
After the sudden death of her father in 2005, the fate of the butcher’s shop that had been in existence since 1929 was initially uncertain. “We are three girls and in certain areas we came across massive resistance. Only a handful of people had faith in us,” Ursula Sedlmayr remembers. Yet despite all the naysayers and hindrances she decided to continue with the family business.
The Garmisch-born butcher is passionate about her work. Her father taught her responsibility and respect – both for animals and for her customers. Although her business has changed considerably in the last few years, Ursula Sedlmayr has remained true to tradition. “We collect the animal from the farmer, take it to the regional abattoir and have it slaughtered on site, with dignity and without stress,” she says.
'We have learned a beautiful craft and we have to do it proud.'
She makes 98 percent of her goods herself, and a lot of the work is painstakingly carried out by hand. “We have learned a beautiful craft and we have to do it proud,” she says.
Game from the Allgäu. Delicacies from the native forests
Good meat needs time, and Allgäu native Hermann Tauscher lives by this credo in his profession. He allows his beef to mature for ten days on the bone. Beef for roasting and from the leg stays on the bone for up to three or four weeks. “This ensures a far better quality,” he says.
In 2011 the Swabian became self-employed at the young age of 25. Today Hermann Tauscher runs his own agricultural business. Moreover, his meat and sausage products are highly prized by the restaurant owners in the region. The majority of his meat goes to restaurants and hotels, and what remains is sold in his two shops.
Hermann Tauscher offers a broad range of products: They include pork, beef, lamb and veal - and even horse. His products from local game, such as venison salami and venison ham, are hugely popular with guests. “Game is particularly good for producing raw sausage products, because it’s darker by nature,” says the 32-year old.
He gets his game from seven suppliers in the vicinity. “As a meat supplier you should really only offer what’s available locally in the region,” he says. There’s no doubt that the flavour of game from the Allgäu sets it apart. Because it is shot and cools down in the bag, the meat takes on the smell of the animal. “This gives it the unmistakable flavour that is so loved and valued by game connoisseurs.”
'Game is particularly good for producing raw sausage products.'
Quality and local produce go hand in hand in the Free State. Bavarian sausage and meat specialities reflect the area they are made in and are well worth tasting.
Allgäuer Wurstspezialitäten Hermann Tauscher