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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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!