Status: 27/09/2023, 13:28 p.m.
By: Marcel Prigge
White sausage is white sausage, is white sausage – or not? In the North German test, the editors of the Ippen.Media editorial team check the taste of plant-based alternatives. (Montage) © Marcel Prigge & Imago
What does a vegan white sausage taste like? And does it go down well with the North Germans? The Ippen.Media editorial team tests the alternative and tries the classic from Munich.
Bremen/Munich – Vegan white sausage – is that possible? The editorial team of Ippen.Media has set out to carry out the gourmet test. Is the original from the Weißwurst equator really better than the plant-based alternative? And can the North German palates, which previously had nothing to do with the Bavarian specialty – let alone the sucking out of the sausage, the Zuzeln – taste any difference at all?
The vegan veal sausage test: How do North Germans like the original and the vegan version?
The vegan white sausage is always the subject of discussion: some people don't like the alternative purely in terms of taste, others reject it on principle, and still others swear by the substitute product. The editorial team of Ippen.Media, based in Bremen, has nothing to do with Munich, neither geographically nor culinarily. This is another reason why a white sausage test is a good idea: fresh palates check the taste of the original and that of the plant-based substitutes.
Almost like the sausage testing commission at the Oktoberfest, the editorial office in Bremen also has various white sausages available for testing. On the one hand, an original from Bavaria will be tasted. The traditional company Zimmermann, which has been in existence since 1894, not only describes the Weißwurst as a "cult" on its website, but is also at home below the Weißwurst equator west of Munich. Five Munich white sausages with pork come in a 300-gram package. On top of that, there are three packets of sweet Händlmaier mustard from the factory.
The vegan white sausage: competing products from Munich and Hamburg
A vegan competitor, which is available to the editors, comes from Munich: the plant-based white sausage from the company Greenforce. Greenforce might already be known to one or the other Munich resident, because the company also offers vegan products in a total of six tents at the Oktoberfest. According to the company, the vegan white sausage in the 200-gram package will be made on a pea basis. In addition, it does not require an outer skin – unfolding impossible.
Never cook white sausage: How to heat the classic from Munich
Since white sausages can burst if the temperature is too high, they should never be heated in bubbly-boiling water. How to cook white sausages correctly:
First, a large pot of salted water is brought to a boil. The temperature should then be reduced so that the water no longer bubbles – it is best to remove the pot from the heat. Now the white sausages are carefully pickled, the intestines of the sausage can quickly burst. After a period of ten to twelve minutes, the white sausages have been heated in a water bath for a sufficiently long time.
But northern Germany, or more precisely, Hamburg is also getting involved: The Raging Pig Company, a foodtech start-up from Hamburg, has launched a vegan version of the Weißwurst for this year's Oktoberfest. The company, which provides the editors with a 200-gram pack of the sausages, says it relies on a base of peas and mushrooms for the Bavarian classic. In addition to an exclusive partnership with the vegan Siggis restaurants in Munich, the company's white sausage will also be offered in Hamburg, Berlin and other cities in the coming weeks. The white sausage from the Elbe is not yet available on the open market.
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Differences in the three variants are already noticeable when the sausages are heated. While the original and the hamburger alternative float comfortably in a water bath, the Greenforce sausage sinks to the bottom of the pot. There, it seems, it also loses consistency in the coming minutes. Small chunks of white sausage float around in the pot, but after a time of about twelve minutes, the sausage is still recognizable as such.
About the taste test: Four editors have tried the three variants and agree – the two variants do not come close to the taste of the original Munich white sausage. However, the plant-based alternatives did not taste bad by far and could well appeal to the tenth of people who eat vegetarian or vegan.
Vegan version or meaty original: These are the white sausage test results
The product from Hamburg impressed with its consistency and its strong, herbaceous taste. The consistency comes very close to a sausage made of meat and in terms of taste it does not seem to be far from the original. The alternative doesn't really taste like meat, but it's going in the right direction. Plant-based or meaty? An intermediate sausage.
The feeling remains that the employees of the Hamburg-based company have engaged in and dealt with the analysis of a white sausage. It is a substitute product that cannot and does not have to copy the white sausage. But it is definitely a delicious variant without meat, which could also be something for the Bavarian Weißwurst-Ultra.
Transparency note: The test white sausages were eaten after 12 o'clock
One question arises again and again among white sausage newcomers: Until when can you eat a white sausage? The Bavarian commandment, which sounds banal at first, has a historical background. Since the white sausage used to be prepared early in the morning and was quickly perishable, it had to be eaten quickly before the midday heat. That is why it is said that white sausages were not allowed to hear the twelve-o'clock ringing.
Nowadays, the white sausage is eaten at any time of the day. Nevertheless, the specialty still has a special significance at the morning pint in Bavaria.
The Greenforce product was more likely to fail the North German veal sausage test. Although it was positively noticed that the sausage is easy to bite off, this is also thanks to the consistency of warm, soft cheese. In terms of taste, it is not reminiscent of a white sausage. The shallow, light herbal note as well as the appearance of the variant look like a slightly better seasoned meat sausage. All in all, the Greenforce alternative is something different, its own. Certainly special in terms of taste – but ultimately not white sausage.
What remains is the original from Bavaria. And what to say? The meaty taste that white sausage lovers enjoy so much is clearly present. Strong herbal notes make up the sausage as well as its creamy, chunky consistency. The zeln from the sausage is certainly a matter of taste, but at least possible.
Conclusion: Not all white sausages are the same – whether vegan or not
All in all, there are meatless alternatives to white sausage. These are a matter of taste, but depending on the manufacturer, they come quite close to the original. It's also worth taking a look at the bigger picture: Does it necessarily have to be the classic taste, or does a variant taste better if it doesn't directly remind me of white sausage? In that case, it might be worth taking a step in line at the vegan white sausage stand. Also at the Oktoberfest in Munich.