Weisswurst Birthday!

Happy birthday to Bavaria's beloved Weisswurst. Have a look at the history and traditions of this culinary delight!

It’s hard to imagine any other food so closely tied to Bavaria than its beloved Weisswurst. Always paired with Händlmaier sweet Mustard, a fresh pretzel, and a Weissbier, it’s a treasured Bavarian delicacy. In a land with so much history, it is somewhat shocking to learn that the Weisswurt is a relatively “new” development – it dates back only to February 22 of 1857!

The legend of its development traces its roots to Marienplatz, where a certain restauranteur and butcher, Sepp Moser, operated “Zum Ewigen Licht.” As he was making veal sausage one day, he suddenly realized that he didn’t have enough sheep intestine in which to stuff the veal sausage he just ground up. So, he decided to use pig intestine, which is much larger. He also discovered that it wasn’t possible to grill this sausage and also not to boil it – if handled too aggressively, the casing would burst. So, it had to be gently cooked in hot water. He named it “Weisswurst” simply because it was while in color – Weiss = White.

There are many cultural nuances about Weisswurst:

·         It’s common to hear the saying that, “Weisswurst should never hear noon bells.” An obvious food safety tip from the days before refrigeration!  

·         The skin should never be eaten – first peel it or “zuzeln” – pick up the sausage with your fingers, bite one end, and suck out the contents.  See Video1 or Video2

·         Weisswurst should also be ordered in uneven numbers: 1,3,5, etc.

·         When peeling, if the skin peels easily with no meat adhering to the skin, it’s a good sign that the sausage is fresh.

It’s tempting to want to try the Weisswurst at the original source when you are in Munich. Zum Ewigen Licht is still on Marienplatz, but I have to say I am not a fan. The prices are really high, the food quality is not so special, and the beer lines not taken care of. Skip this one and to the Schneider Brauhaus!

For more about Weisswurst and where to get it in the USA, please go to this article.