What would I do without Morant’s Sausage Kitchen? One can get such a variety of masterfully created pork products there, like the shelf-stable tea sausages (a smoked paté-like spread) hanging behind the counter in two tidy rows of red tubes, the Wisconsin-style Sheboygan brats (that are perfect for big BBQs), the Irish Bangers (similar to British Bangers, but smaller and uncooked), and the amazing bacon-studded sauerkraut. When the summer grilling season comes around, or mid-winter during the holidays I find it indispensable. But more to the point what would the Romanian guy that I met recently, while he was shopping for ingredients for his mom’s cabbage rolls, do without Morant’s? He was on the hunt for the softest smoked pork skin he could find; his mom uses it to line the pan in which she cooks the cabbage rolls. Apparently, the skin imparts flavor without releasing any fat (like bacon would). Morant’s delivered, and dude left satisfied with the softness of the skin.
Morant’s customers are all coming in for something different. No matter what I go in for, I stock up on everything else. Sausages freeze well and make for a really snappy and delicious weekday dinner. Some of my favorite sausages to get are the Nürnbergers. These are a type of pre-cooked bratwurst native to Franconia, in southwestern Germany. They are much smaller than Sheboygan brats, flavored with marjoram, and made with finely ground pork. They are mild and almost a little sweet like a breakfast sausage. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in this part of Germany — it’s gorgeous and a great place to eat and drink. The small villages and larger cities are full of charm and have local specialities that represent their way of life. The city of Nuremburg claims this type of bratwurst, which is traditionally grilled over a beechwood fire. I’ve got a southern German cookbook titled Bavarian Cooking: Old Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia by Olli Leeb which recommends that they be “pan-fried or grilled, using the following method: let the sausages draw briefly in hot water, dip them into milk, and brown them on all sides in their own juice (do not use any additional oil or fat).”
At our house, we’ve served the Nürnbergers with goose on Christmas, but in Germany, they are typically served as a main course six at a time, grilled or pan-fried, with sauerkraut and potatoes and a side of horseradish cream. Yum.
Franconian wine is usually white — Riesling, Müller-Thurgau or Silvaner — and occasionally red — Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). I’d recommend any of the whites to go with a plate of these beauties, but if beer is what you want I can really picture a göse tasting great with this food. Prost!