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Gelbwurst Sausage

Gelbwurst Sausage is a sausage with a mild-taste traditionally made in Bavaria, Germany. The sausage is also made Württemberg.

"Gelbwurst" means "yellow sausage"; it's called this because the sausage is packed in a yellow casing. Originally, the casing was natural pork intestines, coloured yellow with saffron. Now, artificial (and artificially-coloured) casing is mostly used.

Inside, the sausage is actually a very pale grey colour, because it's not cured: instead, it's pre-cooked by simmering in water at 167 F (75 C), then air-cooled and dried, then sold onto retailers in chilled storage.

Children like the sausage because the meat is quite finely-ground, and has a very mild taste.

The meat mixture inside consists of lean pork, speck, and either veal or beef. Traditionally, the meat mixture included 25% pig brain. This is no longer done, but that's why in some parts of Germany Gelbwurst is still referred to as "Hirnwurst", with "Hirn" meaning "brain."

The meat mixture is flavoured with spices such as lemon, ginger, white pepper, salt, cardamon and nutmeg. Other ingredients are ice and egg white. Some versions add fresh parsley as well.

Gelbwurst Sausage can be used as is, in sandwiches, or cubed on an appetizer tray. You can also slice it, and fry it.

Cooking Tips

The sausage needs no cooking, as it has already been cooked.

Storage Hints

Store chilled and use within a few days.

History Notes

Gelbwurst Sausage is a relatively modern sausage. It was first recorded in 1905 in the book "Fabrikation feiner Fleisch- und Wurstwaren" ("The manufacture of fine meat and sausage products") by Hermann Koch.

Language Notes

Aka Hirnwurst, Kalbskäse, Weisser Fleischkäs.

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See also:

Kochwurst Sausages

Gelbwurst Sausage

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Bon mots

"Liqueurs were not lacking; but the coffee especially deserves mention. It was as clear as crystal, aromatic and wonderfully hot; but, above all, it was not handed around in those wretched vessels called cups on the left banks of the Seine, but in beautiful and capacious bowls, into which the thick lips of the reverend fathers plunged, engulfing the refreshing beverage with a noise that would have done honor to sperm-whales before a storm."

-- Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (French food writer. 1 April 1755 - 2 February 1826)