A 30.000 pies por viajeros para viajeros

The secret of the small Bratwurst of Nuremberg

In 2003, the Nuremberg “Rostbratwurst” was the first sausage to be accepted on the EU PGI registry, which recognizes traditional, locally-produced specialties in the European Union. The protected geographical indication for Nuremberg Bratwurst says that every Nuremberg sausage must be made within the city limits of Nuremberg according to an official traditional recipe. In addition to the official seal of the EU, they also bear their own “Original” seal.

These culinary delights are eaten in groups of six, eight, ten or twelve with mustard or – more traditionally – horseradish, which is called “Kren” in the local dialect. Typical side dishes are sauerkraut, potato salad or a farmer’s rye bread. In addition to the grilled version, you’ll also find sausages prepared as "Saure Zipfel". In this recipe, the brats are slowly cooked in a broth flavored with vinegar, onions, wine and spices. The sausages sometimes take on a light bluish-grey color, which led to the name "blue tails". A real treat for the people of Nuremberg – and therefore available all over the Old Town – are “3 im Weggla“. Three of the small sausages are laid in a sliced-open hard roll (“Weggla“) and topped with mustard – voilà: You have a hearty snack in your hand. Don’t miss it!

Why is a Nuremberg Bratwurst so small?

Everyone knows that although the Nuremberg Bratwurst is smaller than others, they offer a mighty big taste. But why are they so small? We wanted to investigate this question. There are many theories and stories that attempt to explain the size of Nuremberg sausages. Here’s a sample:

In the Middle Ages, the pubs (and the gates in the city wall) were required to close early. The legend says that Nuremberg innkeepers found the sausages practical, because they were small enough to fit through a keyhole … so they could even feed guests who were locked out at night.

Another story says that prisoners in the Nuremberg Dungeon were fed Nuremberg sausages by their warden. They drilled an extra hole in the prison wall and pushed the sausages to the criminals through this narrow slit. A legend which combines both theories is the story of the Nuremberg patrician Hans Stromer. He was given a life sentence because he refused to pay his debts. Before they locked him up, they granted him one last wish: He asked to receive two Nuremberg brats each day. They were passed to him through the keyhole. During his 38 years in jail, Stromer managed to enjoy 28,000 sausages!

While we don’t expect you to eat as many as Stromer (though you may want to!), we know you won’t want to miss this special treat when you visit Nuremberg. Check out our flights here!

Text and Image by Congress - und Tourismus-Zentrale Nürnberg

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