Mettwurst (German: [ˈmɛtˌvʊʁst] (listen)) is a strongly flavored German sausage made from raw minced pork preserved by curing and smoking, often with garlic. The southern German variety is soft and similar to Teewurst. Braunschweiger mettwurst is partially smoked but still soft and spreadable, while other northern German varieties such as Holsteiner are harder and more akin to salami, due to longer duration of smoking.

Place of originGermany
Main ingredientsRaw minced pork
Ingredients generally usedGarlic


The Low German word mett, meaning 'minced pork without bacon', is derived from the Old Saxon word meti (meaning 'food'), and is related to the English word 'meat'.

Preparation and usage

Mettwurst can be prepared and eaten in a variety of ways, such as cooked or fried or spread on rye bread with onions and eaten raw. When minced raw pork is prepared without curing or smoking, it is called simply Mett. The skin is designed to be eaten and is typically not removed.

It is important that high-quality, fresh ingredients are used; otherwise, deadly microorganisms and toxins can develop. In January 1995, 23 children became very ill, one of whom died, which the coroner found was a result of eating garlic mettwurst.[1]

Outside of Germany

In South Australia, due to a large German emigration in the 19th century (to, for example, the town of Hahndorf), mettwurst (sometimes spelled "metwurst") is common: it is created in the northern German style and served as a cold cut. It is often consumed in school lunches and as a snack during parties.

In the United States, mettwurst is most commonly associated with the city of Cincinnati, where it is regarded as a signature dish.[2] The town of Mineola, Iowa, which was settled almost exclusively by immigrants from Schleswig-Holstein, hosts an annual heritage dinner with "Schoening-style" cold-smoked Mettwurst known in the Low German dialect as Metvuss.

Similar products

Finnish meetvursti resembles the Dutch metworst or salami; it is dry, hard, strong-flavored and dense, and is eaten as a cold cut on bread.

See also


  1. "FINDING OF INQUEST - The Death of Nikki Robinson". Archived from the original on 11 July 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  2. Stern, Jane; Stern, Michael (2011). The Lexicon of Real American Food. Globe Pequot Press. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-7627-6094-7.
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