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this article doesn't really say what a bratwurst IS, other than 'a sausage composed of veal, pork, or beef,' which is more or less every sausage in existence. what sets this sausage apart from andouille, or keilbasa, or anything? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:47, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

KF's questions:

(1) "The usual, small 'Bratwursts' were invented in Nuremberg."

Could you please explain? What is "usual" about "small" (how small???) bratwursts? And why Nuremberg? <KF> 21:42, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"Nürmberger Würstchen" are smaller than what you usually get when you ask for a Bratwurst. I think they're usually roughly half the size of a "normal" Bratwurst. Most fast food outlets sell the bigger kind as they are also commonly sold as "Currywurst" (Bratwurst with curry ketchup and curry powder). --Ashmodai June 29, 2005 23:34 (UTC)
Sausage makers traditionally use natural casings made from the intestines of pork and sheep. "Nürmberger Würstchen" use sheep casings (18-20 mm). Sheep casings are too small for Sheboygen style brats which use hog casings . -- CB

(2) " [...] which is sold at various fast food outlets and often consumed standing upright."

"Standing upright" doesn't sound very gemütlich, does it? <KF> 01:11, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"Bratwurst" not only denotes fried sausages, but also a special sort of "cold" sausages, as any German could confirm. The difference in taste (as in temperature, haha) is large.

KF's questions end here.

My comment has to do the associated crime of cooking a Bratwurst in a frying pan. Use a real grill like a BBQ or something! If anyone agrees with me, feel free to work this into the article

Also, Isn't Braut the shorter spelling? Brat implies annoying kids/people etc.

No, Braut is not EVER a shortform unless something went horribly wrong with your gene pool. "Braut" is German for "bride", "Brat" comes from "braten", which means "to fry". A Bratwurst is therefore a fried sausage (opposed to the normal Bockwurst, for example, which is cooked). Either that or it comes from the "Brät" (or whatever the exact name is), which is what sausages are made from, but since the special thing about Bratwurst is that it is fried, I would wager that it's really just "fried sausage" ("gebratene Wurst").
It's usually fried in a pan, except for BBQs, which only regularily happen in the summer only, where it is fried on the grill along with other varieties of meat and the good old baked potatoe. --Ashmodai June 29, 2005 23:34 (UTC)
"Brat(wurst)" comes from "braten"". No, it freaking doesn't. See the first two lines of the article. And a proper bratwurst is done on a grill. Kar98 July 4, 2005 02:55 (UTC)
As I said. "Either that or it comes from the "Brät" (or whatever the exact name is), which is what sausages are made from". Don't misquote me.
It seriously translates into "fried sausage" either way, though, and the fact it is fried is the only difference to an ordinary sausage in the Real World (tm) today (especially because nowadays any sausage that is fried is called a "Bratwurst" in colloquial German, which arguably stems from the other (wrong) etymology, which may very well be a modern construct).
Just as powdered hard cheese is called "Parmesan" in colloquial German whether it actually is from Parma or not (which the EU defined as a main criterium in location-based branding), not every Bratwurst is made the traditional way. If you fry a tofu sausage you might as well call it a "Tofu-Bratwurst" and nobody would look at you funny (except for making fried tofu sausages in the first place).
The grill thing really is a niche group religious issue. BBQ fanatics might fry you if you call anything that wasn't grilled a real Bratwurst, but the rest of the population hardly cares. The bratwurst you get in a typical German Imbiss fast food stand is usually fried on a flat surface that can hardly be called a grill (by that logic, hamburgers from McDonald's or Burger King would be "grilled" as well -- the stripes however happen to be painted on rather than "fried" on).
--Ashmodai 4 July 2005 04:38 (UTC)
I think there is a misunderstanding in the translation between German and American. German gekocht (boiled) is often confused with American cooked. Fried in American is not the same as gebraten it is more like fritiert with the exception of pan fried or griddled, which is what your imbiss does when they gebraten which translates in to American as roasted. In the brat belt (Chicago-Milluaukee), brats are grilled (gegrillt) 12 months round, indoors and out. Although bockwurst is normally boiled (gekocht), the imbiss next to the VW dealer in Spandau deep fries them (fritiert) for currywurst. - CB
I would say that the "Brat Belt" extends further. Bratwurst are EXTREMELY popular in the metro Detroit area and there are several large meat packing plants in Dearborn that produce them. I can think of at least three local brands: Koegel's, Kowalski's, and Dearborn Brand. They serve them on a bun at the sports stadiums, if you go to a car show the concession stands will sell them, and many people grill them at cookouts all summer long. The supermarkets devote a lot of shelf space to them, at least as much if not more (to my uneducated eye) than to, for example, bacon, or cold cuts. As someone who moved to this area from the Deep South in 2000, this is something I noticed immediately. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:35, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

My oh my, I have to catch up on the development of articles such as this one which I started a long time ago.

I've got a few questions the answers to which might help clarify various passages in the article:

  • Bratwurst are often simply called brats. --> By whom, and where?
  • Can we agree on the fact that all bratwursts, no matter in what part of the world they are made, sold, and eaten, cannot be consumed raw, i.e. the way they are when you take them out of the fridge in a supermarket?
  • Why is there a capital A in brAt and brAtwurst?
  • Is there a plural form bratwursts?
  • While in Germany and Austria a bratwurst is actually eaten with bread, isn't it more often eaten as a hot dog, i.e. in bread in English-speaking countries?
  • Why are the Nuremberg sausages smaller? Is there some legend or something we could refer to?

<KF> 00:12, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

  • I'd wager bratwurst is called "brat" in English speaking countries. It's not a German slang term. At least not in North-Rhine Westphalia.
Certainly it is true for the "brat belt" between Chicago-Milluaukee, whatever language the people speak. - CB
  • Bratwurst should not be eaten raw, no. At least it's not considered normal behaviour. I think it's essentially raw meat. Unless you like your meat raw, you don't usually do that.
  • There is no capital A in brat or bratwurst. It made me wonder, too. At least there isn't in German. Also there are no umlauts in bratwurst, so don't get any funny idea. bratwürst or stupid attempts like that make it sound Turkish if anything.
  • The plural of Bratwurst is "Bratwürste" (or "Bratwuerste", if you can't type umlauts). I'd assume the English plural would be bratwursts or simply bratwurst.
The plural in American for bratwurst is bratwurst and for brat is brats. -CB
  • In Germany bratwurst is usually served with a roll (bread, "Brötchen" in German). It's becomming popular to break the roll open and put the sausage inside due to the American influence and some stands actually sell bratwurst like that (usually without a cardboard plate and knife and fork then, just with a napkin). I'd assume bratwurst is sold like that more commonly in English speaking countries (in Germany hotdog stands are incredibly rare, btw).
  • I'm not sure about the Nuremberg sausages. Many regions have some special kind of sausage. I guess the people around Nuremberg just preferred the smaller sausages.
-- Ashmodai 12:51, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

"Popular German mustard known as Senf" - Senf is German for "mustard". What other mustard could it be eaten with? JIP | Talk 18:05, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

The Senf eaten in Thuringia is probably Born Senf by Born Feinkost Erfurt. It is not as sweat as the mustard in Southern Germany that is served with a Weißwurst and does not contain grain of mustard seed.--Hhielscher 18:35, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
Were the mustard of any kind whatsoever possible, it would still be called "Senf" in German. JIP | Talk 11:06, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

I cleaned up the German confusion (i.e. Senf, the fact that Bratwust means fried sausage, etc.), however this article still has serious problems. --Scaife 05:13, 02 February 2006 (UTC)

I put the cleanup notification back up after it was removed. This article still needs a lot of cleanup, however if you feel that it doesn't please comment. Scaife 04:38, 06 February 2006 (UTC)

Just a suggestion, but I think it should be made clear that Wisconsin bratwurst is significantly different in taste, preparation and composition from the bratwurst you get in places settled from Southern Germany and Switzerland. Wisconsin bratwurst is red, but the bratwurst of places like Dayton and Cincinnati is gray-white, much more finely ground, and filled with a much gentler blend of herbs and spices; you need a picture that shows the difference. Also, white bratwurst ought to be a lot fatter than your Wisconsin brat and have skins, although admittedly it takes some doing these days to find proper white bratwurst. (And there's nothing nastier than to have your tongue watering for white bratwurst and get the red kind....)

I know this is a Wisconsin-championed entry, but as a resident of Bucyrus, Ohio I made some minor corrections and additions regarding our own version of bratwurst. We use caraway seed, not fennel, and I added a link to our festival. Thanks much! Joegee 00:30, 29 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm cool with the entry about the type of brat that's unique to Bucyrus, OH...however, I question the part about most brats consumed in the US being "Bucyrus-style". Any sources to back this up? -Rhrad 21:56, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not certain where it came from, but I note it has been removed.Joegee 21:44, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

First of all: I'm german. The small bratwursts you can buy in a supermarket, are ca. 6-10 cm long, the long ca. 15-20 cm. So the Nuremberg sausages are smaller than the 'normal' bratwurst we eat.

Bratwurst served with roll isn't very popular in Germany, most of the fast food we consume comes from McDonald's/Subway/Burger King. -- 16:36, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

The legend about Nuernberg bratwurst is that the reason they are small is so that they could be sold illegally after hours. They had to be small enough to fit through the keyhole of the city gate. I don't know if it is true, but I heard this from my grandmother who has lived in Nuernberg her whole life, and from a tour guide. The keyhole in the gate of an old city wall is enormous, so there could be some truth to it. Nuernberg bratwurst are about as big as a man's little finger and are sold six at a time in restaurants. A person might order "sechs mit kraut" and the kraut should be very soft (never crisp) with juniper berries. In the old city, there are stands that sell bratwurst in a roll and it is very popular. Nuernberg bratwurst are the best in all the world, and that is an objective fact :-)--Hector398 15:50, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Vegetarian Bratwurst[edit]

There's no academic link for vegetarian Bratwurst I'm aware of, but here is a commerical link: Veggie Bratknacker. --Fasten 19:08, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that a revert sometimes needs an explanation, especially in cases where it is clearly not vandalism. I may have never heard of vegetarian bratwurst, but I think it belongs in here. Royalbroil 04:55, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Here is more support for the existance of vegetarian Bratwurst on froogle. --Fasten 17:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Here is a sausage called Thüringen (instead of Thüringer, which is probably a protected name for Bratwurst). --Fasten 17:35, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
See also: [1] for frequent use of the word "Bratwurst" for vegetarian sausages. --Fasten 12:02, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
pervert —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:59, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but vegetarian bratwurst is as much usual or even considered a real dish as `vegetarian chicken wings´ or `vegetarian Schweinebraten´. If a vegetarian wants to have that kind of substitute anywhere in germany he will maybe find it, but it is merely a sad excuse for the lack of other vegetarian dishes. I know some of this people and they would not dare to lay their `meal´ on anybodies grill - which would make their dish non-vegetarian at all, since the oil/fat from the real bratwursts would spoil it.-- (talk) 08:40, 29 January 2013 (UTC)


The United States section shares most of its contents with I'm not sure who wrote what (whether it's them or us who's plagiarising), but I thought I'd let you know. Jonemerson 21:13, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

There's a tagline at the beginning, "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" so I'm guessing they lifted it from here. -JakeApple 22:54, 16 October 2006 (UTC)


Should it include some of the nicknames of bratwurst? It has brat, but i've heard it being called britt-brat before (pronounced differently than the "brat" in "bratworst," it was pronounced like "brat" in "spoiled brat."

Cleanup about the “facts” about German Bratwurst[edit]

  1. The article as it is now (2007-8-31, 16:08) is correct as far as I can evaluate it.
  2. Nuremburger (Nürnberger) Bratwürste are the smallest German variant of Bratwurst which I know. They are approximatly the size of a finger (though I would rather compare it to the index instead the small finger) and the name is protected under EU-law. Whether they were invented in Nuremberg cannot be said, but the oldest historical evidences for this variant come from Nuremberg.
  3. Everything concerning Bratwurst in Germany has to be regarded with respect to the different regions. Franconia (Nuremberg), the rest of Bavaria, Thuringia, Berlin and the rest of Germany treat Bratwursts differently.
  4. Standing upright isn't ungemütlich when you eat a snacks e.g. Bratwurst in all its variant. There is quite a huge number of so called “Stehimbisse” (??standing snack bar in Englisch??) in Germany where you eat your meal standing upright around an elevated table. I'm not sure about this, but I think these Stehimbisse have lowered taxes.
  5. The term “Bratwurst” is in SOME parts of Germany also used for a (fried?) variant of minced meat. Not EVERY German could confirm this. The difference is indeed so large that for the German Wikipedia there should be a disambiguation page. Whether this is needed here, I don't know.
  6. (Pan) Frying a Bratwurst is not a crime. If you do this in Thuringia, every Thuringian noticing it will hate you, but you won't go to jail for it. ;-) Indeed most Bratwurst outlets in Leipzig (where I study) sell their Bratwurst fried. So this is regionally different behaviour. Concerning this, the name has NOTHING to do with braten (frying). It comes from its content, whose name was and is Brät.
  7. Bread and Bratwurst: Again answer of what to eat with your Bratwurst is regionally different. In Thuringia there are two possibilities: When you buy it from a Stehimbiss, you get a hard roll cut partially in the half wherein the Bratwurst is put (similar to eating a hot-dog. This is not “becoming popular”, its traditional.). When you do it yourself at a party or so, you can eat whatever you like: bread, potato-salad, ..., because you eat it with knife and fork from you plate. In Berlin, Currywurst is served with bread (or hard roll?) I think. How they it in Austria, I have no idea.
  8. Senf/Mustard: Again regional. In Thuringia, if you are adult, there are only two sauces suitable for Bratwurst: nothing or mustard (not-sweet), if you use anything else especially sweet mustard or ketchup the same happens as if you fried the Bratwurst. Children are also “allowed” to use sweet mustard or ketchup as mustard may be too hot for them.
  9. White and red Bratwurst: These are obivously American differences. But in Germany there also two kinds of Bratwurst: rough and fine ones (correct translation of grob und fein?) which describes the Brät (content) of the Bratwurst. The rough ones look rather red and the fine ones look rather white. I prefer the rough ones, but they are both common in Thuringia. In the rest of Germany I'd guess fine ones to be more popular. (Just delete this phrase if you disagree.)
  10. Popularity: Amound the younger generations, American style fast-food is certainly more popular than Bratwurst, but among the older ones (>=25/30 years) Bratwurst is more popular, at least in the areas with Bratwurst tradition (Thuringia, Nuremberg, Berlin)
  11. Vegetarian Bratwurst: These do exist but I would refuse to grill them as I would to any vegetable or chicken product (apart from chicken wings -- there is no pork equivalent to this.).
  12. Nicknames: I know of only one Nickname for Bratwurst in Germany: The term “Brater” is used in Saxony and eastern Thuringia, but I wouldn't recommend to use them. At least not in western Thuringia. ;-)

So much for this. If you have any more questions to Thüringer Rostbratwurst, let me know. If you have any questions to other local variations of Bratwurst, ask people from that area. One last recommendation: Never eat Thuringian Bratwurst outside of Thuringia. NEVER EVER!!!!! Toscho 14:56, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


I have very little to add, as Toscho has pretty much covered most of the salient points. But I can state the following from personal observation:

  1. Cooking: grilled is the preferred method, frying in the pan only done at home, and even then I only see it done with the small Nuremberg-style bratwursts.

There is an alternative cookcing method in Franconia, though, called "soured bratwurst": the sausages are simmered in a sauce consisting of vinegar, onions and other ingredients. This dish is often served with mashed potatoes. Other names for it are "saure Zipfel" and "blaue Zipfel".

  1. Popularity: in Franconia and Thuringia, bratwurst are still popular snacks to be eaten at fairs or walking down the road. Also, in my experience each town or region shows pride for its style, for example in Coburg they use pine cones in the grill fires to add an extra smoky note. Around the Bayreuth region, they prefer the finely-minced filling in long, thin sausages served in pairs. It also should be noted that most bratwurst sales points are not franchises, but small one-or two-man operations (or connected to a butcher shop). Outside of those two regions, though, popularity drops off.
  2. Condiments and side dishes: traditionally, only a standard yellow mustard was used, but ketchup has grown in popularity. Unlike in the USA, sauerkraut is not commonly added to the bread-roll version. However, it is traditional in Nuremberg to have sauerkraut instead of bread, and the meal is served on a tin plate. Relish, onions and so on are practically unknown.

I can recommend the German version of this page for more information. The last time I checked it contained the information discussed here in more detail. Saint Fnordius (talk) 11:35, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


I live in South Western Germany, in Rhineland-Palatinate, and here, AFAIK, Bratwurst is always a "white" sausage, about an inch thick, from pork and veal meat, and fried in a pan or on a grill. Almost everyone thinks the name "Bratwurst" means "fried sausage", because that's what we're doing with it. I'm off to the kitchen now to fry one! :-) (talk) 10:23, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Brat pronunciation[edit]

Could someone please work out the IPA code for the pronunciation of "brat" in the U.S.? In the brat-belt, it rhymes with caught, not cat. Outside of that area, even as close as Illinois and Iowa, rhyming it with cat is not unknown, but will be very quickly corrected by an upper midwesterner.

This is very important, since otherwise the term "brat fry" would sound like cruel and unusual punishment for spoiled children. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:10, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

A Brat Fry may be cruel, but is it really that unusual? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

I added the Sheboygan Jaycees' Brat Days website to the list of external links. It's only fair that it is included if other festivals are too. I did refrain from placing it at the top (Though by the looks of the other festivals' sites, Brat Days is probably worthy of top billing). Plus it hosted the nationally-televised brat-eating contest a few years back and annually attracts national, albethey 'washed-up', bands. (talk) 08:46, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I see someone has deleted the external links. I am sad to loose them. The latest one was particularly good on the local variations of German localities and the origin of Bratwurst.--CSvBibra (talk) 04:58, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Etymology of Bratwurst[edit]

The etymology of the word "Bratwurst" in the article's introduction is unsourced. Does somebody have a source for it? Cpryby (talk) 06:02, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Source: brat=without waste brat = pure meat Toscho (talk) 11:41, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

The etymology referred to is: The name is German, derived from Old High German brätwurst, from brät-, which is finely chopped meat and -wurst, or sausage. I have searched through various dictionaries, and cannot find a source for the exact form quoted, but I have found several similar etymologies, which do not entirely agree, and one which is quite out of line with all of the others. It might be tempting to simply reject the exceptional case, were it not from the Oxford Dictionaries, which are clearly recognised as a reliable source. I have amended the article to reflect this diversity of opinion. Incidentally, the form "brät" quoted in the etymology given above is an error: it should read "brāt" with a macron (long sign), not with two dots (diaeresis or umlaut). JamesBWatson (talk) 09:31, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

The unclear etymology and the wrong diacritical sign probably come from the word "Brät", which is the name for the content of a wurst (in general): a more or less homogenous mass of chopped / minced meat. So the root "brāt-" and the word "Brät" probably have the same origin. I wouldn't rely on any of these sources, because there is too much garbage to be found on this topic. Toscho (talk) 10:52, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Nürnberer Bratwürste[edit]

Could someone please rewrite this subsection. My changes have been undid. Nürnberger Bratwürst is not the most popular wurst in Germany, and even if it was, unproven it shouldn't be in wikipedia. Toscho (talk) 12:47, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Of course they are! Everyone in Western Germany knows it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:30, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
No they are not, and I am from Baden (part of Baden-Württemberg in the South)--SamWinchester000 (talk) 18:06, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

American Sausages Categorization[edit]

Although it's quite clear that bratwurst are very popular in the US, particularly in the Midwest (St. Louisian here), what exactly is the justification for including it in the American sausages category when it's a German sausage? Is it due to the amount produced or consumed here, or something like that? I don't think the bratwurst in Germany and the US are so different as to justify being called two types of sausage, are they? Kronos o (talk) 03:03, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

I have never been to the US, but I have eaten Bratwurst in different countries. As Thuringian, I judge Bratwurst in a detailed way and I have to say, that Bratwurst in different countries are very different. Therefore I regard it as justified to include an own section for American Bratwurst. On a general / global scale of regard this may be wrong, but for me it is true. Toscho (talk) 21:09, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Swiss Bratwürst[edit]

Why the hell is Swiss variety of German food never included im these Wiki pages but the Americans are always mentioned? Does anyone realise there are Swiss variety's of the bratwürst, which have been around a lot longer than the US. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:34, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Thüringer Rostbratwurst[edit]

I propose to put a photo of the Thüringer Rostbratwurst into the article. I don't see a reason why there are no pictures of the Thüringer, while it is the best known kind of Rostbratwurst inside of Germany. It is also much better available all over Germany than the small Nürnberger Bratwürste.

That's not true as you know! You can get Nürnberger everywhere because they're the best and best known in Germany, Europe and the World. They're the original, every other one is just a remake. Thüringer... no thank you!-- (talk) 19:01, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

I am German and didn't even really know about the fact, that Nürnberger exist, but Thüringer is ALWAYS on the menu and everybody in Baden eats them (though I prefer the red bockwurst)

I'm from North Germany and nobody here gives a damn on Nürnberger. But a good Thüringer will always be welcome on every BBQ ;-) I think, the popularity of the Nürnberger in the US is a lot owed to the fact that the city of Nürnberg was part of the US occupied zone of Germany after WW2 -- (talk) 06:28, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

We can't get real Nürnbergers here in the U.S., BTW. Only those of us who have had them over in Germany know why they are so popular. Cheers... Doc talk 06:36, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Cooking bratwurst[edit]

The article states that it's commonly boiled or grilled. People I know do both. Boil in beer, and then grill it. Best of both worlds so to speak. Boiling it seems to make it leaner (especially when you punch some holes in it.) And grilling gives it a better taste. It's not uncommon to add additional ingredients to the boil such as onion I believe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

See also: CurrIEDwurst?[edit]

Is that entry in the "see also" section supposed to say curriedwurst (as it does now)? Shouldn't it be a link to the Currywurst page? (talk) 20:59, 29 May 2012 (UTC)


Rhineland-Palatinate also has its own kind of bratwurst, which is usually relatively short and thick (larger than an inch in diameter, probably one and a half inches or similar). I haven't had them in a while since even supermarkets or grocery stores within the region don't usually have them. They can apparently only be obtained from real butcher shops. They have a very distinctive taste from the spices used. They're always encased in real animal bowels (usually pig bowels), but they're easy to peel off if the sausage wasn't pan-fried (or grilled) too hard. Their taste with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes (with hot butter) is simply unbeatable! :D (talk) 15:06, 13 July 2015 (UTC)