Bockwurst is a relatively thin sausage (though thicker than a North American wiener) usually served warm with beer, a roll, and mustard.
Bock in German literally means goat, but this fresh sausage did not get its name from the type of meat used in it.
In fact, the meat used is usually ground veal and pork (and usually a higher proportion of veal), though any meat can be used, even turkey or horse or, yes, goat.
The name in fact, though, came about because Bockwurst sausage is traditionally washed down with a glass of Bock beer (see History section below.)
Milk and eggs can be added to the meat mixture, along with seasonings such as chives and parsley.
The sausage casings are usually natural ones, usually pig or sheep.
The sausages are often lightly smoked.
The sausages are scalded with water or steam before sale.
American versions of Bockwurst are much closer to Weißwurst (with the absence of parsley.)
Treat Bockwurst sausage as raw, requiring full cooking.
Simmer 15 minutes in water, or fry or grill.
Don’t overcook or the casing may split.
There are two theories as to the origin of the sausage.
The first is that it takes its name from a butcher, Wilhelm Bock.
The second is that it was created by a Jewish butcher named Benjamin Löwenthal.
In the late 1800s in Berlin, a man named Richard Scholz ran a “pub” at 46 B/Spreewaldplatz 2 in Berlin, near the Görlitzer railway station (now demolished.) The pub / tavern was very popular: troops often stopped there at the end of their leave before catching a train back to their garrisons.
Scholz served Tempelhof Bock bier at the tavern, brewed in Berlin by a Bavarian named Leonhard Hopf.
In the fall of 1889, students from what is now called the Humboldt University of Berlin, along with their lecturers, engaged Scholz to host a party for them to celebrate the beginning of winter semester. Scholz wanted to serve them a better quality sausage than he normally served, and so sent his son Otto to a nearby butcher.
The butcher was Benjamin Löwenthal, whose shop was in the triangular intersection of three streets — Friedrichstraße, Mauerstraße and Krausenstraße. Löwenthal, being Jewish, kept kosher, and so did not use pork. He sent Otto back with a partially smoked, relatively-thin sausage made of veal and beef.
Scholz served the sausage to the student party, with his house Bock bier, of course. The students loved this sausage, and christened it “Bockwurst.”
Only at the start of the 1900s did the sausage start to be served with mustard: before that, it was served with roasted potatoes and gravy.
Luisenstadtischer Bildungsverein e.V.. Skalitzer Straße. In “Das Lexikon je Verwaltungsbezirk von Berlin” Retrieved December 2009 from http://www.luise-berlin.de/lexikon/frkr/s/skalitzer_strasse.htm
Bockwurst. friedrichstrasse.de. Retrieved December 2009 from http://www.friedrichstrasse.de/berlin/historie/geschichte_alle/bockwurst/