Teewurst is a sausage meant to be used as a meat spread on crackers or bread. It was usually served at tea time, thus its name “Tee” (meaning “tea” in German.)
The reddish-brown sausage meat inside the sausage casing is firm but spreadable. The meat is uncooked, but safe to eat as is.
It is made from beef and pork, about 2 parts meat to 1 part fat. The meat mixture ends up 30 to 40 percent soft fat, which is why it’s spreadable when finished. The meat and fat are finely ground, spiced with white pepper, ginger, paprika, and cardamom, and flavoured with cream and a spirit such as rum, brandy or malaga. The mixture is then stuffed into casings, and let stand at 60 to 70 F (15 to 21 C) for around 24 hours.
The sausage is then cold smoked over beech wood, during which time the casing (but not the inside of the sausage) darkens from the smoking. The sausage is then let ripen for 7 to 10 days.
It is also sold now as a spread in re-usable containers, instead of in sausage skins.
There is a coarser version called “grobe Teewurst” (“grobe” meaning “coarse, chunky.”)
Another meat spread, or a pâté, or mettwurst sausage, which is also spreadable
Teewurst must be kept under refrigeration.
Teewurst is believed to have originated in the mid 1800s in Pomerania, possibly in what is now Darlowo in Poland, which used to be called Rügenwalde. A factory was established there in 1834 by a Carl Müller.
In 1927, Teewurst was granted a German PDO. It was Rügenwalde’s most well-known product up until 1945. After 1945, the German makers moved to Germany to do production there, when Pomerania became Polish territory.
In 1957, Rügenwalder Teewurst was registered as a trademarked name by those who had moved from Poland. Only companies that were around back when production was actually in Rügenwalde can use the trademarked name of “Rügenwalder Teewurst.”