San Luis Sausage Newsletter

Oktoberfest Edition

If it’s fall, it must be time for Bratwurst!

Believe it or not, it’s Fall. That means it’s time for Oktoberfest. Actually, due to some marketing geniuses or party enthusiasts, Oktoberfest typically starts in September, and lasts until the last gasp of October. As sausage makers, we find the next two months especially busy, with German sausages outselling everything else. Everyone is in on the celebration! We wanted you to bring the Oktoberfest into your own home, so in this special Oktoberfest Edition, we will give you lots of ideas, and some recipes to join in on the fun!! So grab your favorite German beer, and enjoy!!

OKTOBERFEST! (or as we call it... International Sausage Festival)

Welcome to the International Sausage Festival! True, most people call it Oktoberfest, but to us, the sausage has the starring role and the beer is a supporting player. We do have our priorities.

Whatever you call it, it's a grand old time we all can enjoy. Oktoberfest is a world-wide event but the true center is Munich, Germany where a 16-day festival runs from late September to the first weekend of October. They've been doing it since 1810, so they've worked out all the kinks and have it down to a science – the science of brewing special beer and chomping on sausages and other traditional German cuisine.

More than 6 million people across the globe attend Oktoberfest celebrations and we in California are among them. If you want to travel nearly 6,000 miles to Germany for the festivities, we're sure you'll have a great time. But if you'd like to save the air fare and spend the money on sausages and beer instead, here are some Oktoberfest celebrations you can find right here at home.

The Phoenix Club (German culture center in Anaheim). Oktoberfest is celebrated on weekends between Sept. 19 and October 12. Are you ready to dance the Polka in the Biergarten? Details at:

Old World German Restaurant (Huntington Beach). Sept. 14 through Nov. 2. There are special activities for kids and Dachshund races on Sundays. Don't miss the parade! Find out more at:

Alpine Village (Torrance). Weekends September 12 through October 26. It's called the oldest (since 1968) and largest Oktoberfest celebration in Southern California, complete with authentic Oom Pa Pa music, German beers, and traditional Bavarian dishes. Check it out:

So go ahead, call it Oktoberfest if you must. We don't care as long as your celebration includes plenty of sausages to go along with all that beer.

Bratwurst On a Roll

There are so many recipes for German sausages, and we wanted to start with a simple one to get you in the mood. This recipe uses a Bratwurst sausage, but as simple as that sounds, there is more to consider when buying your links.

In Germany, every small town has their own version of Bratwurst. Things are much less confusion here, with only two major types of Bratwurst to choose from. The most commonly found sausage is cooked, called a Nurnberger Bratwurst. There is also a raw Bratwurst, which can be cooked in Beer for added flavor.

If you use raw Bratwurst for this recipe, boil them in simmering (not boiling) beer until cooked before starting this recipe.

4 links Bratwurst Sausages

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 pounds onions, sliced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

salt and pepper

4 ounces gruyere cheese (or Swiss cheese), grated

Baguette split open and cut into 4 pieces

Thaw and precook sausages if necessary. Warm 2 tablespoons oil in a pan over medium heat. Slowly cook onions until they are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to cook until brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove onions from the pan. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat over medium high heat. Cook sausages in the pan, turning often, until brown and heated throughout.

Remove sausages and place on split baguettes. Top with onions and cheese.

Optional toppings include: Diced apples, sauerkraut, horseradish, pickles.

Serves 4

Want to host your own Oktoberfest at Home? Here are some German Sausages to serve

Bratwurst – This is the most popular German sausage, and unlike some of the other varieties, is eaten year round. Bratwurst is typically made with pork, and comes in different varieties, the most popular being the cooked version called a Nurmberger Bratwurst. There is also a raw version, favored for cooking in beer, and then our favorite is our Cheddar Bratwurst, a cooked version with yummy cheese.

Knackwurst – These sausages are typically short and stubby, and have a very mild flavor, similar to bologna. They usually contain pork and beef and are sometimes smoked.

Bockwurst – These sausages are also called Weisswurst (white sausage) because of their light coloring. They are the mildest of the German sausages we mention today, and made with veal and spiced with onion and parsley.

Kielbasa – This is actually a Polish sausage, but it is just as popular at this time of the year! Kielbasa is usually made with pork, and is smoked for added flavor.

Frankfurters – A gourmet version of the American hotdog. Unlike regular hotdogs, frankfurters have a tender casing that gives them a nice “snap” when you bite into them.

Liverwurst – This sausage us so soft it can be used as a spread. It is usually made with pork and pork liver. Before you turn up your nose, take a taste – it’s a lot like pate.

That covers most of the sausages you will encounter this Octoberfest season. Now go out there and enjoy some sausages and beer!

Did You Know

October not only brings shorter, crisper days, but it also brings a month of serious foodie holidays!!

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