I’ve recently experienced what it means to eat wurst in Germany. Wurst comes in many different forms. There’s bratwurst (which we’re mostly familiar with in the U.S.) or some variation of bratwurst; there’s currywurst, which you can get at take-away stands in Germany, especially in cities like Berlin; and there’s the wurst you eat raw. Which I did tonight, though not realizing it until too late. And then I immediately had doubts about my ability to understand German, as I thought the butcher behind the counter said in Deutsch, “Do not cook, just slice and eat. Just don’t eat the plastic casing,” or something like that. I asked at least three times in my broken German, “Okay, nicht kochen? Ja, okay.” And so, I expected a wurst similar to a salami or some kind of cured meat. Nein.
I took the wurst out, sliced it like the butcher said, and put a piece in my mouth. “Hmmm, it’s soft.” Okay, so the light in my apartment isn’t great and I had no idea I was eating raw meat, probably pork mixed with other meats. Honestly, it tasted very fresh but growing up in the U.S., one is basically trained to not eat raw pork. I had to cook it, and just hoped that I wouldn’t need to visit the hospital that evening.
I sliced off a few more pieces and threw them into a skillet with olive oil, and cooked them until the meat wasn’t raw-looking anymore. Took another bite, and strangely, the uncooked version tasted better.
I have heard of Mett, minced raw pork eaten for breakfast in Germany. After swearing I would never eat Mett when I learned about it last week, I surprised myself by accidentally having it for dinner. When I showed my German friends the picture of the raw wurst, and asked if it was okay to eat it uncooked, they nodded their heads and essentially said, “Ja, what’s the problem?” Ah, German sushi (as the husband called it).