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Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Bratwurst, Leberwurst & Schwartelmagen (Shvawr-tel-maw-gn)

by Nick Tullius

At least three types of sausages were made whenever a pig was butchered in the Banat villages:
Bratwurst, Leberwurst, and Schwartelmagen. Salami was kind of a special case.


Bratwurst (schwowisch: Brootworscht) was made of lean (about 70%) and fat (about 30%) pork. The spicing added to the ground mixture (salt, garlic, paprika, pepper) was as described by a few readers of this site, although everybody had their own recipe (in our place a little cloves and nutmeg was added). The casings were the small intestines, cleaned and turned inside out. The people involved in the proceedings of the 'butchering day' took part in the evening meal (sometimes called 'Sautanz'; 'Metzelsupp', etc) at which some of these fresh sausages were served fried. As the raw sausages would not keep for long, and fridges or freezers were not available, most sausages were placed into the 'smoking chamber', a room in the attic of every house, right below the chimney crowning each house. The dry, smoked sausages would keep for a long time, just hanging in the 'Speis' (storage room). They could be eaten 'raw' and tasted almost like salami (see below), or they could be boiled in water and eaten with boiled sauerkraut and potatoes, or with boiled bean 'Zuspeis', as a main meal. They could also be eaten cold with bread and pickled peppers or dill pickles as a secondary meal. A few of the fresh (non-smoked) sausages would be fried in the pan, then placed in a jar, and covered with the fat from the frying pan. The full jars would keep in the storage room for a reasonably long time. These could be warmed up at any time, and tasted almost as good as the fresh ones. 

Leberwurst (schwowisch: Lewerworscht) was made from boiled pork (mostly fat?) and pork liver, with the appropriate spicing.  The casings were the large intestines, cleaned, boiled, and turned inside out. It was usually eaten within a short period of time, although some people smoked theirs. It tasted pretty much like the 'liverwurst' available in many European delicatessen stores "in the major cities"(?!). 

Schwartelmagen (schwowisch: Schwartelmaa) was made from (boiled) skin (Schwarte) and some meat from the jowls, tongue, etc. with a specific spicing. It had that jellied appearance of, well, headcheese.  The mixture was placed into the pig's stomach, after it had been cleaned and turned inside out. It was eaten cold (storage room temperature) with bread and pickles (or onions, or garlic).

Salami was usually made on special occasions, not on the day of butchering the pig. It was also available from the village butcher shop. The pork meat was reserved beforehand, often together with some lean beef or venison, and hang out to dry at below-freezing temperatures. The casings were larger than those used for the sausages, as seen on most of the salamis available at a butcher store, delicatessen, or even supermarket here in North America. The usual assortment includes Genoa, Hungarian, Black Forrest, Dry, Summer, and many other salamis, some smoked and others non-smoked. The homemade salamis kept almost indefinitely, without refrigeration. They were usually eaten "as is", without cooking. I remember eating them even without bread. 

[Edited by Rose Mary Keller Hughes, Recipe Coordinator. Published at DVHH by Jody McKim Pharr, 26 Feb 2006]


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