The first time I lived in Germany, I didn’t appreciate the true level of mastery that Germans achieved using pork in their cuisine. I was a vegetarian and didn’t pay any attention to the meat. This time… my mind is blown. There are about 1,500 types of sausage that differ between regions, towns, and butcher shops. That’s just the sausages. The sheer variety of options for deli meat and products to grill or roast is staggering. In recognition of this true feat of meat, I dedicate my blog post this week to Germans and their pork.

Ode to Pork

Germans, poor Germans, your reputation consists

Of harsh sounding words and a humor that’s dead 

Of beer, precision, Nazis and bread

But Germany there’s something the world has missed

Something trumps all among this list.


Your love of pork is astounding in size

The slices, the spices, the sections of meat

The ears, the tongue, the belly, the feet

You transform the animal before our eyes

For gobbling up pig, you win the prize.


German sausages
Photo: Getty Images

Over a thousand types of sausage exist

Spicy or sweet, sausage that’s smoked

Pork with herbs or in beer that is soaked

Bratwurst sausages should not be missed

(But don’t call them “brats” or Germans get pissed)


German love of sausage cannot be denied

Ones spiced with coriander, ginger or salt

Fermented, scalded, charred to a fault

Sausages that are boiled, grilled or fried

There are just so many that must be tried


German deli meat from Metzgerei Goeller
German deli meat from Metzgerei Goeller

Want slices of pig to eat at a meal?

There’s blood tongue, bologna, salami and ham,

Thick sliced leberkaes that looks like spam

Or jagdwurst (pork that’s mixed with veal)

Lachsschinken also has great appeal.


blood tongue
Sliced blood tongue

Ham is a category all its own

My kids love the ham sliced paper thin

Danish, Black Forest, Dark or Alpen

Hams are eaten with sauce or alone

They’re delicious on or off the bone.


Mettwurst: spreadable like pate

There’s spreadable meat for a sandwich lunch

Mettwurst, liverwurst, peppered or not

Teawurst or speck (but only when hot)

No? Try a knackwurst you can crunch

Or blood sausage for a bigger punch


Bacon wrapped white asparagus
Bacon wrapped white asparagus

For grilling or roasting, don’t get me started

Shoulder and rump and bacon wrapped fat,

Bacon wrapped anything, we’ll leave it at that.

The love of this meat is truly wholehearted

You Germans and pork, you will not be parted.


So Germans, my friends, I know better now

Oktoberfest and Lederhosen

Are nothing next to pork devotion

In summary then, I think we should bow

To your innovative use of the sow.


pig ears pastries
Pastry specialty: “pig ears”

Just a small cofession before I stop

With all these options, with all this choice

I’d be lying not to give this voice

Of all the pig products in any shop

My list will always have pig ears on top!



Marla Bender

Ode to German Pork
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