Weisswurst, or bockwurst, is a traditional sausage of Oktoberfest. Weisswurst translates as white sausage (veal and pork). Generally, the only place you can get them are at a German Deli. My wife Peggy graduated from high school in Germany and loves weisswurst on brotchen (a crusty German bun). I was going to be driving through Lakewood, so I thought I would check out the very German Hess Bakery & Deli. My friend Dick was with me and he had eaten there before, so we decided to have lunch as well. He bought some pastries for his wife and I bought weisswurst, rolls, rye bread, landjaeger, and some other breads for mine.
A hallway separates the Hess Bakery & Deli from the German Pastry Shop. We entered the pastry shop first. Their pastry case held many cakes and pastries. The menu on the wall offered lunch and dinner items. I ordered a sandwich of landjäger and a cup of cauliflower soup. Dick ordered a similar sandwich with salami and a bowl of chicken noodle soup. We were both somewhat disappointed.
The pickle on my landjäger sandwich was excellent. Everything else was not. The thinly sliced meat could have been canned luncheon loaf for all the flavor it had. It was served on dry, dry bread . . . or perhaps, dry, dry, rye bread. My cauliflower soup lacked flavor and spark. It was so hot it burnt the roof of my mouth. Microwave?
After lunch, Dick and I crossed over the hall to the deli. While Dick looked around the grocery section I waited in line (five people in front of me) to order weisswurst and landjäger. Landjäger is a dry-cured sausage traditionally made in Southern Germany. It is a great snack food for activities such as hiking and hunting. In fact, jäger is German for hunter. Landjäger can be either mild or spicy. I ordered a smoked mackerel, two spicy landjägers for me and one mild for Peggy. I also ordered rye bread, and two rolls (unfortunately the Hess Bakery doesn’t have true brotchen), and two cheese sticks. Within minutes after walking in my front door, the spicy landjägers became history as I began planning dinner.
I used to work evenings with my friend John Eisenhauer. Every once in a while John would bring a dinner of brats, sauerkraut with caraway seeds, and browned potatoes for the two of us to share. That made an excellent meal . . . and that’s what I ended up cooking for Peg substituting the weisswurst for the bratwurst and the addition of Grey Poupon. With a glass or two of Rhine wine, we finished off a wonderful dinner of Hess deli meat and bread. My wife was thrilled. It brought back memories of her years in Germany.