Today, October 12th …
When Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (later Ludwig I, the grandfather of poor mad Ludwig III) married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on this day in 1810, a five day festival was held in Munich as part of the celebrations. It was so much fun (and there was so much potential for commercial success) that it has been held every year since, apart from the 24 times when one or other Apocalyptic horseman has been galloping by.
Events tend to grow when they are both fun and lucrative, and the Oktoberfest now runs for two weeks and attracts over 6 million visitors who drink a lot (especially beer) and eat a lot (especially sausage). To be more specific, in 2004 the consumption factoids are:
Beer: 60,000 hectoliters (multiply by 100 to get liters).
Wine: 33, 358 liters (not including bubbly)
Pork sausages: 179, 889 pairs.
Pork knuckles: 560, 089 units.
Oxen: 95 units.
The beer is sold in liter glasses, which, I have to say, put the wussy Aussie “schooner” (425 ml) to shame. Some of the beer is specially brewed for the occasion, and can qualify for the name “Oktoberfestbier” if it is made within the Munich city limits.
I have a question: is it the usual thing in Germany to measure sausages in pairs?
Recipes for the Day …
Naturally, we have to have genuine German sausages today. We have discussed sausage several times before, and today we discover bratwurst, and re-discover cervella/saveloys – this time called zervelat, in a sixteenth century German cookbook by Sabina Welserin.
How one should make Zervelat.
First take four pounds of pork from the tender area of the leg and two pounds of bacon. Let this be finely chopped and add to it three ounces of salt, one pound of grated cheese, one and one half ounces of pepper and one and one half ounces of ginger. When it is chopped then knead the following into it, one and one half ounces cinnamon, one fourth ounce of cloves, one fourth ounce of nutmeg and one ounce of sugar. The sausage skins must be cleaned and subsequently colored yellow, for which one needs not quite one fourth ounce of saffron. Tie it up on both ends and pour in approximately one quart of fresh water. The entire amount of salt, ginger and pepper should not be added, taste it first and season it accordingly. It should be cooked about as long as to cook eggs. The seasoning and the salt must be put into it according to one's own discretion, it must be tried first. [Sabina Welserin, 1553]
If you would make good bratwurst.
Take four pounds of pork and four pounds of beef and chop it finely. After that mix with it two pounds of bacon and chop it together and pour approximately one quart of water on it. Also add salt and pepper thereto, however you like to eat it, or if you would like to have some good herbs , you could take some sage and some marjoram, then you have good bratwurst. [Sabina Welserin, 1553]
On this Topic …
Bologna/Baloney sausages were the topic on December 19th 2005.
Tomorrow’s Story ...
The Coronation of Henry IV.
Quotation for the Day …
Beer is proof that God loves us. Benjamin Franklin.