Just as the Inuit apparently have hundreds of different expressions for ‘snow’, the German language has countless metaphors steeped in sausages. Not literally, obviously. Thus if you are recycling, or even upcycling, anything, you are ‘using it for sausages’, ‘verwursten‘. Often this suggests a bit of a botched job (after all, it’s mostly offcuts and the bits nobody really wants to see, never mind eat, that end up in sausages), but it can also be used self-depreciatingly, to describe an ingenious way of using leftovers.
If you are not interested in something, it is all ‘sausage’ to you: ‘Das ist mir Wurst!’. Thus the latest Game of Thrones episode or the closing down of a local shop can be ‘sausage’ to you, as well as the fact that Austria’s winner of the Eurovision Song Contest is not really called ‘Wurst’.
The German football team has a talent for ‘sausaging’ themselves through the group stages, they’re usually in a bit of a mess and get through by either miracles or absent-minded referees. ‘Durchwursteln’ is the direct opposite of ‘sailing through’, which is done with ease and style. Judging by the match against Portugal, though, it looks like we skipped the usual ‘Durchwustelei’ (it’s become a noun now!) stage of our campaign.
Perhaps the most delicious and ingenious way of ‘verwursting’ your sliced continental meats is the traditional German ‘sausage salad’: thin slices of meat sausage and black pudding are eaten cold with a vinaigrette. This is usually served with bread at the typical evening meal, the ‘Abendbrot‘ (literally ‘evening bread’). It’s not really a salad in that it does not contain any of your 5-a-day, but that might all be ‘sausage’ to you anyway.
Schwäbischer Wurstsalat, or Sausage Salad, Swabian style
- 300g cold meats, such as ‘Extrawurst’ or ‘Bierwurst’, in thin slices.
- 200g German black sausage (or black pudding), thinly sliced
- 4 tbs white wine vinegar
- 4 tbs neutral oil, such as rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 tbs mustard (German mustard or French Dijon mustard)
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 4 radishes, finely sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper to a vinaigrette.
Cut the sausage slices into fine strips. Add some of the spring onion slices and radishes and mix with the vinaigrette. Llet it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Garnish with the onions and serve with bread and, well, salad, Why not.
By the way, that was the headline afterwards in the German paper: “Lahm overheated, Götze sausaging”: