How to Eat Weisswurst in Munich

How To: It's hard to find a restaurant in the German city that doesn't serve weisswurst. But it's said that the white sausages should never hear the noon church bells. Chris Gray explains.

07.12.07 | 10:49 AM ET

imageThe Situation: You alight from an overnight train into Munich’s Hauptbahnhof, savoring your first whiff of crisp, mountain-kissed Bavarian air. You’re starving, and you didn’t come all this way to eat the same breakfast you always eat. Time to settle in with Munich’s meatiest delicacy: the delicate, white veal sausage called weisswurst. Didn’t know that weisswurst was for breakfast? You need a weisswurst primer.

Weisswurst basics: As the story goes, the weisswurst was born 150 years ago in the kitchen of the Zum ewigen Licht Gasthaus on Munich’s Marienplatz. Today, Munich’s butchers stuff more than 75 million of the white sausages a year. To stave off imitations, an organization of weisswurst enthusiasts has petitioned the European Union to grant the specialty sausage its coveted Protected Geographical Indication seal. Their goal: that only a weisswurst made in Munich will have the right to bear the label “Original Muenchner Weisswurst.” While some may think of sausage as being lunch and dinner fare, Muenchners say that a weisswurst should never hear the church bells. While the rule is sometimes broken, at least according to tradition, weisswurst should be eaten before noon.

Where to go: It’s harder to find a Munich restaurant that doesn’t serve weisswurst than one that does. But if a place has a beer garden or flies the blue-and-white-checkered Bavarian flag, there’s sure to be weisswurst on the menu. Once you find the right restaurant, seek out the table with a centerpiece that looks like a huge cast-iron ashtray and is labeled “Stammtisch.” Never sit there. Grab the table nearest to it, however. In Germany, a restaurant’s stammtisch is reserved for the regulars, and it’s where all the action is. Greet your neighbors with a throaty, “Gruess Gott” (pronounced “groose gut,” it translates loosely as “Greet God” and is the standard greeting in Bavaria).

Prep work: Order your weisswurst by the piece from your server. Two snags at a time are the norm, and they’ll be served floating in water inside a pot that is covered with a bread plate to preserve the heat. On your table, you’ll find a pot of sweet Bavarian mustard and a basket of pretzels—these are the only acceptable accompaniments for weisswurst. Order a weissbier to wash it all down. 

Eating technique: Now comes the tricky part. Weisswuerste are eaten peeled, and while the traditional technique is to snip open the ends and suck out the meat, you’re best off using your silverware.

Start by slicing your weisswurst in half. Tuck your fork into the exposed filling of one of the halves and carve a bite-sized piece off its opposite end. Poke your fork into the filling of the piece you’ve just cut off and draw your knife lengthwise across the top, cutting just deeply enough to split the skin (it should peel back in flaps). With your fork still buried in the filling, slide your knife between one of the flaps of skin and the meat and turn the piece so that your knife pins the skin against your plate. Twist your fork like you’re twirling spaghetti to roll the meat out of the skin, slather some mustard on it with your knife and enjoy.

Advanced tips for the aspiring connoisseur: “The sign of a good weisswurst is color,” says Sepp Kraetz, owner of the popular Andechser am Dom restaurant and Hippodrom Oktoberfest tent in Munich. “It should be white as snow. The only thing you should be able to see through the skin is the green flecks of fresh parsley inside.”

If the parsley has turned gray, Kraetz says, the sausage is no good: “There should never be anything gray in any sausage. That’s a sign of poor quality.” 

When you cut open a weisswurst, it should smell fresh, and the filling should swell out the ends—proof that the meat is of a high -quality and has been properly cooked.

“If it looks and smells appetizing,” he says, “it’s first class.”

Photo by Chris Gray.

16 Comments for How to Eat Weisswurst in Munich

Ingrid 09.13.07 | 3:14 PM ET

.great !-
..........the main thing is too know,that one can gussel down more and more beer,if one eates large amountes of those “Whitesaussages” !


Ingrid 09.13.07 | 3:18 PM ET

..Darling! .there is nothing else to say.- Just eat and drink and be merry !!!!!!!!!

  (maybe sing alonge…..)  :))

Freddy 09.13.07 | 6:23 PM ET

“Grüß Gott” is the shortened form of both “Grüß dich Gott” (Griaß di god) and its plural “Grüß euch Gott” (Griaß eich god). The salutation often receives an ironic response from Northern Germans such as “When I see him” or due to misunderstanding “When you see him”. The verb grüßen originally had a meaning similar to segnen (to bless), although it now means “to greet”. The essential meaning of “Grüß (dich) Gott” is therefore “God bless you”.

Ingrid 09.14.07 | 1:15 AM ET

sing along…:
...”.Gruess Dich Gott,
    alle mit-einander !
  Alle miteinander,-
    gruess Dich Gott !!!”

  (now,you all learned a-nother beer-drinking-song…. )  :)

      Prost !!!!!!!!

(...greet god,all together !!)

Dee 10.18.07 | 10:57 PM ET

In my opinion, the “rotewurst” or red wurst that you can get at the Bahnhoff In Stuttgart, with crisp brochen, is the best of the wurst.  We lived on a US Army base in Stuttgart in the ‘70s and for a special treat we would pack the kids in the car and drive downtown to the Bahnhoff, just to get this delicious sausage. For some unknown reason, it always tasted better at the Bahnhoff!

Ingrid 10.19.07 | 7:05 PM ET

...I hope you know,the red sausage,or “rote wurst” is called :“Blutwurst” in German.
And,most Germans like it. But,Americans do not,because it is made from “blud” !  :)

‘Guten Appetit “.....

luvlein 10.20.07 | 11:49 PM ET

No, a “Rote” is not a “Blutwurst”!
At least not in Stuttgart.
It is a kind of bratwurst, similar to “Bockwurst”, and made from pork and bacon.

Dee 10.21.07 | 12:50 AM ET

Thanks luvlein, you beat me to it!  Rote wurst,in the Stuggart area, is something like a Hillshire Farms Cheddar Wurst without the cheddar. Yum! And “Chicago rolls” at the bakery are as close to brochen as I have ever found here in the USA.  I could never bring myself to even try Blutwurst, too scary.  :O}

Ingrid 10.21.07 | 1:21 AM ET

....I loved “Butwurst”. Has nice spices in it.
But,- a bit fatty. -Can’t handle it any more.-
Am a vegetarian now…  :)

Dee 10.21.07 | 3:09 PM ET

Good call, Ingrid, I, too, am heading in the vegetarian direction, but am not totally there, yet!  If I had to kill my own meat, instead of picking it out of a refrigerator case, I would have been a vegetarian YEARS ago!  :O}

HARRY BROTZMAN JR 03.05.08 | 12:15 AM ET

I have been to Munchen…what a place.
The Weisswurst is indescribable in flavor, texture, culturally sound and so satisfying…“Schmect..sooo Gut…Yah..!”  I wish to return to this famous GERMAN OLYMPIC City..!

Ingrid 03.05.08 | 2:52 AM ET

...that’s the spirit ! -
  Come-on-over to the next “Oktoberfest”....
      ....“prost Beiern” !

Mike 05.26.08 | 10:22 PM ET

All great wurst but my fav is course bauerenwurst !!!

HARRY BROTZMAN JR 05.26.08 | 11:07 PM ET

WEISSWURST is very good with VOLLCORNBROT and hot ingelhoffer mustard also.  I like to have it with burmuda onion slices like with weisslebberwurst..also..!Schmecht zeir gut..!

Mike M 06.04.08 | 6:23 AM ET

Weisswuerste are delicious. In my book, after 32 years living in Germany, they tie with Thueringer Bratwurst as the “Best of the Wurst.”
The small Nuernberger Bratwurst are good, too.
I am an expert on Wurst. In fact I wrote my doctoral thesis on “Die Einfluss der Bratwurst an der Auswirkung der Zweite Weltkrieg” (The Influence of the Bratwurst on the Outcome of World War II) (I’m chust joking).
And I close with a Fasching (Carnival) song about the Wurst:
“Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei
Jawohl mein Schatz, es ist vorbei.”
(Everything has an end, only the Wurst has two.
Yes, my darling, it’s over.”)

Andres Gabor 09.12.08 | 8:14 PM ET

Here is a post from the end of the world…Chile. I am a fanatic of most German sausages, specially Weisswurst. Even though we are so far away from Europe, there was a very important German immigration in the early 1900’s, due to that, there is German blood running in an important percentage of Chile’s south population. As a matter of fact, there are towns in the lake district, like Puerto Varas, where you can still listen people speak in “old” German. Good for us, there is also a big supermarket chain called JUMBO, where many German imported products are sold. Finally, I would like to tell you (who knows…may be some visit us in the near future) that in Chile you may even find an artesanal beer called Weissbier and it is the ideal company for a nice Weisswurst with mustard.

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