The sausages are 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) long, and weigh between 3 ½ to 5 oz (100 to 150 g.)
The meat is pork, which may be blended with veal or beef. It is trimmed of all rind, ground medium-fine, then seasoned with spices. The spice mixture will vary by maker, but generally includes caraway, garlic, marjoram, and salt and pepper. No sage is used. The meat mixture is then piped into narrow sausage casings made from pig or sheep’s gut, which are then twisted off. They are not packed as tightly into their casing as other Bratwurst sausages are.
The sausages are then partially cooked by the maker at 167 F (75 C.)
By law, at least 51% of the ingredients have to originate in Thuringia (which is in central Germany.)
Thuringia Bratwurst are sold throughout Thuringia in the streets at sausage stands.
The traditional cooking method for Thuringia Bratwurst is to first marinate in beer, then to cook them low and slow over charcoal until browned.
Thuringia Bratwurst are eaten in rolls with mustard.
Fat content ranges from 15 to 25%, averaging 20%.
4 Thuringia Bratwurst = 1 pound / 450 g
Some people date the Thuringia Bratwurst back to 1404, citing a bill from the former Virgin Mary Cloister (“Jungfrauenkloster”) in Arnstadt for Bratwurst casings (referred to on the bill as “darme czu bratwurstin”, for which they were billed one “Groschen.”) The oldest actual recipe for what would be recognized as Thuringia Bratwurst, though, dates from 2 July 1613. It’s found in the “Ordnung für das Fleischerhandwerk zu Weimar, Jena und Buttstädt” in the Weimar State Archive.
The sausage received European PGI protection (application No 397 99 006.5) on 4 January 2002.