[Sca-cooks] Terminology/substitute questions

Volker Bach carlton_bach at yahoo.de
Sun May 24 11:41:01 PDT 2009

Salvete all

I'm still working on the Hanseatic cuisine text, and right now I've hit a snag. There are a number of things eaten today here that seem to go right back to Hansa times, but I have no clue a) what to call them in English and b) what kind of a substitute, if any, would be available in Britain or the US. Can anyone help?

Number one: Mettwurst. This is a smoked salamilike sausage, but the cut of the meat is fairly coarse and it includes a lot of fdat. It is traditionally seasoned with salt and whole peppercorns (modern versions also often include mustardseeds) and is smoked only mildly, so it is still rather moist and soft when served. Today, these come in various sizes and are eaten both as snacks and sliced on bread. An early sixteenth century source quotes a proverb saying "a mettwurst no longer than a limb (finger), those are short ends". I think that means they were usually longer than that, and cut or bitten off. 

Anyways, what, if anything, do you call a sausage like that? 

Number two: Mettenden. Much like the above, except extra fatty, extra salty, extra pepper, and designed to be boiled with cabbage or soup to give it flavour. A recipe from the 1570s says that sausages like this should be 'boiled with a salad'. 

Number three: Grützwurst. All I can go by is a single reference from a 15th century account book saying '(oat)meal for sausages' and a fifteenth century recipe describing how to make sausages green (parsley and eggs ground together, meal, meat and spices and 'make sausage' - presumably everyone knows how).  There is a tradition to this day to make a kind of boiled sausage with oat or barley meal in North Germany, called Grützwurst. A much more recent recipe (1897) describes the process of aking the modern kind: boiled oatmeal, blood, melted fat, water, flead cut into small bits and spices are loosely filled into a casing and boiled. The 'white' kind is made without blood, but with bacon fat. 

I'm really at al loss here. The kind with blood sounds like black pudding, but the kind without blood (and including meat as well as fat) seems to have been the more common kind. 

Does anyone understand what I'm trying to say? 




More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list