Archive for the KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE Category

EuroChomp SausageFest 2009: Leberkäse

Posted in EUROCHOMP, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE, Leberkäse on June 23, 2009 by chomposaurus

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Leberkäse literally means “Liver Cheese,” although it contains neither liver nor cheese. Instead, it contains delicious: corned beef, bacon, onion and spices finely ground, then baked as a meat loaf. Then served alongside copious beer and mustard, as though you needed anything to speed passage of this deliciousness from the table to your belly.

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Here, my friends, is the pure elemental form of bologna, the way the gods ate it on Olympus before the devil Oscar Meyer stole it from them and brought it down to us filthy humans. Come to the south of Germany or Austria and try some before the realize we’re not worthy.

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EuroChomp SausageFest 2009: Wollwürste

Posted in EUROCHOMP, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE, Wollwürste on June 9, 2009 by chomposaurus

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Munich’s first wheat beer was brewed at the appropriately named Weisses Bräuhaus. A frequent meeting spot for politicians, including the National Socialists in the run up to WWII, it was heavily damaged by allied bombing But now restored, it still serves up plenty of pilsner and home-brewed weissbrau (both pictured), along with hefty amounts of meat. After a long day inspecting mining equipment and zeppelins at the Deutschmuseum, we stopped in for one of Munich’s many specialties, the wollwürste.

Bud Light and Blue Moon, you are not worthy.

Bud Light and Blue Moon, you are not worthy.

Not sure exactly how wollwürste translates; most of the information on the web seems to be in german. I found one decent page of information here. From what I can gather, it’s typical Munichen Weisswurst that’s cooked in a particular way (dipped in milk, fried briefly) to give it a very fresh flavor. In the case of the ones we basically absorbed along with our beers, the taste was noticeably fruity, and the texture was incredibly moist. In short, a perfect, light sausage for eating lunch outdoors. I guess there’s a reason everyone else around us was eating them too. As usual the potato salad and spicy mustard complimented them well, as did the sea of meat juice encompassing it all.

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EuroChomp SausageFest 2009: Zurich Bratwurst

Posted in Bratwurst, EUROCHOMP, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE with tags , on June 8, 2009 by chomposaurus

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It’s no secret that I’ll go anywhere for a good hot beef injection. So it should be no surprise that a couple weeks ago I loaded up the camera and my ravenous belly into an American Airlines 767 and headed over the pond to Europe for some truly old-school feasting. I met in Zurich with my longtime friend and meat-mate, P. Sundae, who has reported on delicious treats around the globe for Chomposaurus. Over the next 8 days we traveled to Munich, Vaduz, Milan and the Swiss Alps in search of some of the tastiest sausage, loaves and roasts Europe had to offer.

After I arrived, our crew wasted no time. After a stop off in church to pray for the intestinal and circulatory fortitude needed to survive our quest, we ended up at the grill at Vorderer Sternen, downtown Zurich’s number one summer stop for freshly grilled sausage and chicken. We each ordered a Bratwurst, which came with a slug of mustard and chunk of rock-hard fresh bread.

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The sausage was delightfully charred on the outside, lending it a superb, flaky texture without impeding taste. For the inside was soft and juicy. For the first time in my life, I can say it tasted like chicken in a good way: light and tender with just the right amount of salt. Of course, the addition of gobs of ridiculously spicy mustard helped. Throughout the entire sausage-inhaling process, it cleared my sinuses with every bite. Fortunately we had the summer drink of choice in Zurich, the Panache – a mixture of fizzy lemon lime soda with a light beer.

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Kind of wish I tried Swiss Chicken Nuggets.

Kind of wish I had tried the Swiss Chicken Nuggets.


Jet-lagged and delirious, and now packed full of meat, I managed to make it through my first day in Zurich without collapsing. And a good thing, too, because we were heading to Munich the very next morning. Devilish things awaited us there… just as they await you, dear reader, over the next couple weeks.
Best coke machine ever.

Best coke machine ever.

Scrapple(con)quest: Victory at Brunch; or, How I Ate Some Scrapple

Posted in KNOW YOUR PIG, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE, Pork, STRANGE MEAT, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , , on March 9, 2009 by chomposaurus

Offal comes when you least expect it. There I was, sitting down to brunch at Egg, one of Brooklyn’s trenderias, when I noticed it under the meats section of the menu: “Scrapple, fresh from our farm, $3.” Would sweet success only cost me $3? Yes, especially if I convinced my dining companion to order the other thing I wanted to try, the candied bacon (coated in hard syrup candy, just as good as it sounds).

This grainy image is the only footage we have of scrapple in the wild.

This grainy image is the only footage we have of scrapple in the wild.

But after my long months of waiting, would scrapple live up to its expectations? After all, scrapple is hog offal (heart, liver, head etc.) combined with cornmeal and mush, typically eaten in parts of Pennsylvania, so it may be a regionally acquired taste. Let me assure you, though, that it is much better than it sounds. It was fried into moist little patties, which had the consistency of hashbrowns. The taste was similar to corned beef hash, but with a fattier tang, like lamb. I’m not sure if supermarket scrapple would be this good, but with such strong flavors it would be hard to go wrong.

So having conquered scrapple in its natural environment, I’ll be tackling it next on my home turf: cooking scrapple in my kitchen. Stay tuned to this space to see if I survive.

Know Your Sausage: Braunschweiger

Posted in Braunschweiger, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE on November 19, 2008 by chomposaurus

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Key facts:
– It’s german.
– Its primary ingredient is pork liver.
– It’s spreadable
– It’s smoked
– It’s a great source of vitamin A!

That’s right, your dreams of eating pork liver on toast have come true with Braunschweiger, named after a city in Germany. Basically, it’s smoked liverwurst, although it usually contains a bit less meat and a bit more spice. You can even spread it on a freaking Belgian waffle (if you’re nostalgic for WWII). But it’s most commonly devoured on a sandwich with horseradish and onions.

Personally I enjoy this recipe, which includes not only pork liver, but beef liver, chicken liver and chicken herats as well! It’s a wild ride the whole family can enjoy (and/or vomit)!

Know Your Sausage: Linguiça

Posted in Linguiça, Sandwiches with tags , on October 8, 2008 by chomposaurus


Linguiça is the national sausage of Portugal, just as chorizo is to Spain. Still made using the same basic ingredients and ratios as it was a hundred years ago, people consume this mild pork sausage all across the Iberian Peninsula. The key ingredient is vinegar, which gives linguica a soft but unique flavor. Wine or sherry is also prevalent, along with garlic. Add these to pork butt and a few other spices (oregano, paprika, cumin, etc) and you’ve got yourself the spicy building block of portugal.

Ugly, full of cholesterol and heartburn-causing ingredients, Linguica is not your ideal comfort food. But that doesn’t stop people from making linguica sandwiches, one of the most popular forms it’s consumed in here in the United States.


Fun fact! McDonald’s sells linguica as part of their breakfast meal in Hawaii. Also on the plate: spam, eggs and rice. Do not try and order this at McDonalds in Spanish Harlem, as I did. You may be beaten with hot apple pies.

If you’d like to try some Linguica, I’d suggest ordering from http://www.gasparssausage.com/ in Massachusetts

Know Your Sausage: Boudin Noir

Posted in Boudin Noir, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE with tags , , on September 4, 2008 by chomposaurus


Boudin sausage comes in many varieties. The type you find eaten by the truckload in Louisiana is typically boudin blanc, and differs greatly from boudin noir, mainly because it does not contain any pig’s blood. Boudin noir, on the other hand, is made almost entirely out of the blood of a freshly slaughtered pig. The blood mixture is literally poured into the limp intestinal casing, like a water balloon. Usually it has been pre-mixed with onions, parsley, garlic and some pork meat – in one case, pork throats – to give it flavor. The mix is then carefully balanced so as to be solid enough to eat but liquid enough to pour. After filling the casings, the sausages are boiled.

The French eat almost 15,000 metric tons of this stuff every year. They’ve been doing it for upwards of 2000 years. In the old days, it would take a whole day to drain a large pig, with the children given the task of stirring it so it didn’t coagulate. Now the blood is sucked out and placed into a centrifuge immediately to keep it from clotting.

So what does it taste like? Well, it’s traditionally served on a bed of onions and pork fat, so that’s a good start. Boudin is usually spiced but not spicy, with a big rich meaty flavor and, of course, that sanguine tang. As with all our sausages, there are a large amount of varieties of dark blood sausage; you may find versions using sheep or goat blood, and certainly the French aren’t the only ones making it. For instance, in the French Antilles, they make a variety with rum and different spices called Boudin Antillais (bottom right in the picture). Remember, don’t eat boudin noir if you’re not sure it’s fresh! You’re either going to get sick or eat something decidedly less tasty than you intended. Most reputable sellers will only ship it overnight.

(Two Sources for this article with more detailed write-ups)