Germany most famous culinary dish is the bratwurst, which is a type of German sausage made from veal, beef, or most commonly pork. The name is derived from the Old High German Brätwurst, from brät, “finely chopped meat”, and Wurst, “sausage”. Although in modern German it is often associated with the verb braten, “to pan fry or roast”. Beef and veal are usually incorporated amongst a blend often including pork.

Now that we know the basics of it, let’s get a little bit of history:

The sausages have been around this earth for a long time, as old as 224 AD. However, the first German sausage to be documented dates back to 1313, and can be found in the city of Nuremberg, located in the Franconia region.


Each sausage varies from region to region, some sources list over 40 different varieties of German bratwurst. Many of them are known for being originated in the Franconia region, which is in the north of Bavaria. Another difference can be found in the ways that they are served. Most commonly done with a white bread roll made from wheat flour and eaten with mustard. If you want to eat it in a bar or pub then it is often accompanied by potato salad and dark crusty country bread made predominantly from rye flour. A less common version includes a brezel or pretzel. This dish is considered a form of fast food in German-speaking countries, often cooked and sold by street vendors from a small stand.

Franconian varieties:
Fränkische Bratwurst:

This one is relatively long, about 10 to 20 cm. It is a thick, coarse sausage, common to the whole region of Franconia with slight variations. This one date back to 1313 and the marjoram is the characteristic ingredient. Some say that the taste is very similar to the Nürnberger Bratwurst but juicier. Because of its size, the sausage is traditionally served with potato salad.

Coburger Bratwurst:

From the city of Coburg, this sausage was first documented in 1498. Made out of pork and a minimum of 15% beef, seasoned only with salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon zest. It is coarse in texture and is about 25 cm long.

Kulmbacher Bratwurst:

Originated in the city of Kulmbach in Upper Franconia. This long but thin sausage is made mostly from very finely ground veal, with little pork. This wurst may be seasoned with salt, white pepper, nutmeg, lemon peel, marjoram, caraway and garlic. The exact mixture is a closely guarded trade secret of each butcher. Kulmbacher bratwursts are usually pan-fried, or grilled over a wood fire.

Nürnberger Rostbratwurst:

This small and thing bratwurst from the largest city in Franconia, Nuremberg was first documented in 1567. It is 7 to 9 cm. long and weighs between 20 and 25 g. he denominations Nürnberger Bratwurst and Nürnberger Rostbratwurst (Rost comes from the grill above the cooking fire) are Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) under EU law since 2003, and may therefore only be produced in the city of Nürnberg, where an “Association for the Protection of Nürnberger Bratwürste” was established in 1997. They are pork based and typically seasoned with fresh marjoram which gives them their distinctive flavour. hey are also sold as a snack by street vendors as Drei im Weckla (three in a bun; the spelling Drei im Weggla is also common, Weggla/Weckla being the word for “bread roll” in the Nuremberg dialect), with mustard.

Würzburger Bratwurst:

Comes from the city of Würzburg and the size is between 15 to 20 cm. However, the particularity about this version is that includes white Franconian wine.

Other varieties
Thüringer Rostbratwurst:

Originated in Thuringia, this spicy sausage is 15 to 20 cm. long and it is traditionally grilled over a charcoal fire and eaten with mustard and bread. The name Thüringer Rostbratwurst is also recognised as a PGI under EU law. Triggered by the discovery in 2000 of an account entry of 1404 first mentioning the Bratwurst in Thuringia in the town of Arnstadt, the association “Friends of the Thuringian Bratwurst” was founded in 2006. In the same year, the association established the Erstes Deutsches Bratwurstmuseum (First German Bratwurst Museum) in the village of Holzhausen. A two-metre-high wooden monument of a Bratwurst in a bun on a local traffic roundabout advertises the museum.

Nordhessische Bratwurst:

From the northem Hessen, this 20 cm. long sausage is similar to the Thüringer Rostbratwurst in taste. Its is made from coarsely ground pork and is heavy seasoned. Traditionally, it is grilled over a wood fire and served on a cut-open roll with mustard.

Rote Wurst:

The Rote Wurst (red sausage) is a favourite Bratwurst of the Swabian region. It is similar to the Bockwurst, and is made from finely ground pork and bacon, and has a spicy taste. To prevent splitting during grilling or pan frying, an X is cut into the ends of the sausage, which opens during cooking. Sometimes a row of x-shaped cuts are made along its length.

Which one would be your first option to try?