Sausages, dumplings and beer

By | Category: Travel destinations
the sausage museum

the sausage museum –

Bratwurstmuseum

Who hasn’t tried a sausage or six, sampled lager from local breweries or wondered about how many potato dumplings you can eat? Thuringia is the place where you can try all these in one German state because they are the specialities of the area.

Starting with sausages, no matter where you’re from in Germany or if an overseas visitor and you have tried them before, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t like Thuringia’s charcoal-grilled sausages, called ‘Thüringer’. The recipe for Thuringian grilled sausages is more than 600 years old and the region’s 3,000 butchers closely guard its secret: Apart from the ingredients pork, marjoram, caraway and garlic nothing else is known.

They even have their own museum dedicated to them, Germany’s first and only ‘Bratwurstmuseum’ which is only 30 minutes from Erfurt in the small town of Holzhausen. Here, visitors can learn about the history and production process of the Thuringian fried sausage plus get insights into the as well as the chance to sample them at any number of sellers

Whilst we can appreciate sausages having a large variety of them in the UK, we don’t often see potato dumplings. This is another regional speciality of Thuringia. Prepared using grated raw and cooked mashed potatoes, with a filling of crisp cubes of bread fried in butter, they are usually served with a variety of roast meats.

Guess what? The dumpling has its own museum too!, and the ‘Thüringer Kloßwelt’ museum in Heichelheim not only features an exhibition all about dumplings but you can be taught how to make them too. Participants will be taught how to make original Thuringian dumplings and then, of course, you can sample your own wares. And if you ever fancied becoming a ‘Doctor of Dumplings’, you can get the respective certificate there, too.

Beer is about as traditional as it is possible to be. Thuringia is also the proud holder of Germany’s oldest certificate for brewing to the country’s purity standards, with Germany’s most popular dark beer coming from Bad Köstritz near Gera.

If you prefer wine instead of beer, the wine area of Saale-Unstrut is partially based in the state and vines have been cultivated here for over a thousand years. The area is regarded as the northernmost quality wine region in Europe and it produces delicate and elegant light wines. The shell limestone and variegated sandstone soils plus an average 1,600 hours of sunshine and 500 millilitres of rainfall per year provide perfect conditions for the more than 60 grape varieties, specialities being Pinot Blanc and Gris, Silvaner, Rieslings and Müller-Thurgau but also reds such as Pinot Noir and Dornfelder.

No, on a food touring holiday could you do much better than sausages, dumplings wine and beer? And that’s before you even starting looking at the scenery and the heritage sites.

The two museum websites are German only but the Thuringian tourism website will have more information and in English. To reach that, click here.

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