Welcome, friends, to the wonderful world of weisswurst! It is possibly the best breakfast food this side of the Atlantic (aside from pain au raisins, of course). These weird looking sausages seem to be pretty popular here in Vienna, but we were first introduced to them in Munich, where they are served with weissbier, sweet mustard, and fresh baked pretzels as part of a traditional Bavarian breakfast.
As a Jimmy Dean traditionalist myself, I was a admittedly a bit wary of eating slippery white tubes stuffed with veal and parsley first thing in the morning. They look a bit grayish and sad when they come out of the simmering pot, and not necessarily something you want to dive into after a long night of Bavarian beer drinking. But most disconcerting is that instead of eating them with a knife and fork or wedged between a bagel and fried egg, purists insist that you’re supposed to pick them up and suck the meat out of the casing.
When our German hosts enthusiastically encouraged us to try it, I balked. It sounded like a pretty awesome trick to play on the dumb Americans, and I had a sneaking suspicion the next “Bavarian tradition” would involve running naked down the street with a Hitler mustache painted under my nose. So I daintily cut into my sausage and peeled the lemon and herb scented innards from the skin, washing it all back with a big swig of beer. Husband wasn’t so skeptical, however, and he successfully sucked on several sausages that morning, much to everyone’s amusement.
(That may have been one of the more disturbing sentences I’ve ever written. I’m sorry.)
Understandably, that image has haunted me for a while now, and I never quite got over the feeling that we’d been had, no matter how delicious those sausages were. But it turns out that sucking weisswurst is actually a real thing. Wikipedia says so. And so does our good friend Justin, who suggested I expand your vocabulary to include the fabulous verb zuzeln.
That’s pronounced tsu-tslen (as far as I can tell). It means “to suck.” It also means “to lisp” according to the German dictionary, which has nothing to do with weisswurst but is kind of funny. I would use it in a sentence, but I’m about 0% sure of the conjugation. All you need to know is that if you find yourself below the Weisswurstaquator, in the area of southeast Germany (and I guess Austria?) where weisswurst is popular, don’t be alarmed if someone suggests you zuzeln a white sausage.
Unless they’re not wearing pants. Then they probably mean something else.
Bad-um ching! Just couldn’t help myself with that one. Happy Friday!