by Kate Heyhoe
Sausages, kraut, black bread and beer—an Oktoberfest party in the making!
The original Oktoberfest takes place in Munich in September, but for German communities around the world local Oktoberfests are an opportunity to celebrate their heritage and—and if nothing else—have a darned "gut" time.
Besides beer, Oktoberfest requires one main essential: wurst. To learn more about cooking and serving these irresistible German sausages, read on...
German wurst, or sausage, comes in two basic categories:
Weisswurst is the traditional sausage served at "Weisn"—as the locals call Oktoberfest—but dozens of other wursts are also served.
Almost all wurst features pork (and sometimes beef or veal), spices, and peppercorns, but the other ingredients make each wurst distinctive. More than a thousand varieties of wurst exist, some being available everywhere and others are local specialties. Here are a few of them:
What to serve with your wurst? Mustards: sweet, hot, spicy, coarse and smooth; set out a variety of mustards to complement the wide range of sausages. Breads can be soft rolls; dense rye or black breads; caraway, poppy seed, and other seeded breads and rolls; sour doughs and whole grain breads; and hot, soft pretzels (especially good with mustard). Don't forget the sauerkraut; if you don't make your own, pick up a bag of sauerkraut in the refrigerator case at the supermarket—it tastes fresher and crisper than the canned variety. Perk up the flavor with a pinch of lightly toasted caraway seeds.
Authentic German beer, of course, is the drink of choice. Oktoberfest style beers are amber colored, sweet, very malty and traditionally the first beers of the season. Weissbier is the perfect complement to Weisswurst, as it's lighter body and flavor won't overpower the delicately seasoned sausage.
The Global Gourmet
Kate's Global Kitchen for September, 2000:
9/02/00 Pistou and Pesto: Basil's Last Stand
9/09/00 Cook Your Wurst! It's Oktoberfest
9/16/00 Feeding the Olympics, Down Under
9/23/00 Eating Australian
9/30/00 Italian Meatballs, My Way
Copyright © 2000, 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
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