The Nuremberg Rostbratwurst: Is it worth the hype?


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The sausage has always been around. Where did the German bratwurst come from? According to tradition, the Celts discovered the bratwurst and brought this achievement to Germania, the Franconian Empire – that where the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst was perfected.

Find out more about the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst below.

History of the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst

nuremberg rostbratwurst

The real Nuremberg Rostbratwurst is known to have been around as early as the 11th century. It was first mentioned in a document together with the liver sausage as early as the 11th century. 

Nuremberg councilors use ordinances to determine the ingredients from which a “proper” bratwurst is to be made early on. Around 1573, a butcher from Nuremberg invented the smallest grilled sausage in the world. It consisted of ground, raw pork to which marjoram, salt and pepper. Of course, every butcher also has his own, small and secret spice notes. 

The strong note of marjoram is particularly typical, because Franconians love marjoram. This seasoned sausage meat is filled into sheep intestines and twisted off. The end product, the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst, weighs 20 to 25 grams and is seven to nine centimeters long. 

Fun facts about the Nuremberg Bratwurst

  • Bratwurst is served in the well-known Nuremberg bratwurst restaurants in portions of six, eight, ten or twelve pieces
  • The traditional side dishes of the Nuremberg bratwurst are sauerkraut, potato salad, bread, mustard and multi-radish
  • But there are also “sour corners” in the bars. These are Nuremberg sausages that have been marinated in a stock of onions, vinegar and oil for a few days.
  • In 2003, the EU placed the Nuremberg sausage under PGI protection. Original Nürnberger Rostbratwurst can only be called the sausage that is made in the Nuremberg city area according to the original recipe
  • In addition to gingerbread and Nuremberg Christmas stollen, the Nuremberg Rostbratwust is a typical specialty of the Franconian metropolis.

The Nuremberg Rostbratwurst ingredients

The Nuremberg Rostbratwurst is mainly made from roughly greased pork. The boiled sausage is also seasoned with marjoram and table salt. 

However, the exact blend of spices is as well guarded as a state secret. Each butcher’s shop keeps its own recipe under resolution. What has leaked out is that it is certain marjoram seasoning that gives the sausages their typical taste. 

Sometimes ginger, white pepper and coriander are added to the mixture. In addition to marjoram, other recipes also use mace and fresh onions to season the sausages of the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst. 

For the meat mass, lean shoulder pork and pork ham are mainly used. Depending on the recipe, sheer beef is also used in the production of the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst, whereby the main part always consists of pork. 

The meat mass has a fine structure, the grain size is around 3 mm. Shank strings with a diameter of about 15 mm are used for the sausage casing, into which the meat mass is then pressed. 

In its final form is the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst between 7 and 9 cm long and weigh between 20 and 25 g . They are then either fried on a wire rack or in a pan, or cooked in a wine and vinegar stock. They are also available in smoked form.

How long is the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst?

nuremberg rostbratwurst

The Nuremberg Rostbratwurst is only 7 to 9 cm long with a maximum weight of 25 g. This decision regarding their “size” and composition of pork and a majoran spice was officially made as early as 1497. They are prepared over a grill powered by beech logs. Everything together guarantees the consistently good, reliable quality of the Nuremberg bratwurst.

Legends regarding the size of the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst

Let’s get to the bottom of this question a little. There are numerous theories and stories that try to explain the size of Nuremberg sausages. We have selected a few for you here:

  • There was a curfew in the Middle Ages. That’s why the Nuremberg hosts found it very practical to have sausages that fit through the keyhole. So they could feed their guests even after curfew.
  • Another story says that the prisoners in the Nuremberg Hole prisons could be supplied with the Nuremberg sausages by the hole landlords. They drilled extra holes in the walls and handed the sausages to the prisoners. Therefore also hole prisons!
  • A legend that unites both theories is that of the Nuremberg patrician Hans Stromer. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in the debtors’ tower. However, one last wish was granted to him. He wished he had two Nuremberg sausages every day. These were then handed to him through the keyhole. During his 38-year prison sentence, Stromer ate 28,000 sausages!
  • The most likely of all sausage stories is based on a simple strategy that is still popular today. The size of the sausages was reduced, but the price was maintained, so that less sausage had to be produced in order to make the same money and thus to work more profitably. 
nuremberg rostbratwurst

How to grill Nuremberg Rostbratwurst properly

The barbecue season never ends! That is why you can always have some Nuremberg Rostbratwurst in the kitchen all the time! How do you prepare leftover Nuremberg Rostbratwurst in the pan and simply freeze it? But there are a few things to consider:

  • Caution, an already fully cooked Nuremberg Rostbratwurst should not be frozen, as it has already come into contact with oxygen and the grill. Originally packaged sausages, on the other hand, can be frozen for up to 6 months without any problems. It is best to label the packaging with the date of freezing.
  • If the Nuremberg grilled sausages are no longer in their original packaging, this will shorten their shelf life by around 1 month, even when frozen. With airtight packaging, however, nothing speaks against it.
  • The freezer compartment or chest freezer should have a constant temperature of -18 degrees. If the freezer compartment does not perform well, sausages should not be frozen for longer than 4 weeks.
  • Thawing should be as slow as possible, preferably in the refrigerator. If thawing too quickly, for example in the microwave, the meat juice is lost and the sausages no longer taste fresh. A sour odor should not appear during thawing, as this can be an indication of bacteria.
  • Bratwurst sausages do not keep very long – therefore, if in doubt, always freeze them. This means that nothing stands in the way of later enjoyment, because the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst can be frozen without any problems.


Tim Gumbert
Tim Gumbert
Tim is the go-to guy when it comes to finding all the gems regarding life as an Expat in Germany. His whole motto is discover Germany on your own and without a roadmap, explore new routes while climbing or mountain biking.



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