German Sausage Guide #1: Fleischwurst

A partially sliced ring of Fleischwurst, with knife

What is Fleischwurst?

Fleischwurst (“meat sausage”) is a type of Brühwurst (scalded sausage) also known as Lyoner Wurst, thanks to its origins in Lyon, France.  Around the rest of the world, however, it’s better known as a garlicky bologna.  Fleischwurst is a very popular snack at German markets and thanks to its mild, lightly-smoked flavour, it’s also a big hit with children, who are usually offered a chunk on a trip to the butcher.

They are very dense, firm sausages that come in large, horseshoe-shaped rings, the ends knotted together with string.  Made from cured pork, bacon and sometimes beef, they’re flavoured gently with garlic and a mix of spices such as white pepper, cardamom, coriander, ginger, nutmeg and turmeric and held together in sausage form using either artificial or beef casings – neither of which are edible.  They are then scalded, hot-smoked and formed into rings.

Fleischwurst is a very rich sausage, but you can buy (slightly) lighter versions known as Geflügelfleischwürste, made from chicken or turkey.


How to eat Fleischwurst

When preparing Fleischwurst at home, heat it through in hot water, being very careful not to boil it, or serve it cold, but either way, remove the skin before you eat it: slit it lengthways with a sharp knife and it should peel away easily.  Eat your Fleischwurst with dark bread and mustard as part of a traditional German evening meal or add chunks to a bowl of broth or a pasta salad.

Eating out, you’ll find Fleischwurst traditionally served in one of following ways:

✭ Warmed up and stuffed inside a crusty white roll and serving with a generous smear of mustard (this is how it’s served at market stalls and as a hot snack at the butchers)
✭ Served warm with boiled potatoes and a generous helping of Frankfurter Grüne Soße (a fresh, cold green sauce from Frankfurt)
✭ Sliced into long matchsticks and mixed with some or all of the following: chopped gherkins, raw sliced onion, strips of cheese, sliced boiled egg and/or chives, and dressed with mayonnaise (known as Fleischsalat – meat salad) or oil and vinegar (a Wurstsalat – sausage salad, pictured above).

Fleischwurst, Lyoner Wurst, bologna.  Fleischsalat.  Wurstsalat.  How do you like yours?!

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Joshua D

    Fleischsalat is good, although the storemade ones can be a bit goopy. I often tend more often towards the “Budapester Salat.” I also discovered that Fleischsalat is the basis for Heringsalat, it seems a bit funny the first time my wife made it at home by mixing Fleischsalat with Matjes.

    1. I haven’t made Heringsalat (yet) but my husband’s grandmother used to make it like that, with beetroot too. He loves Fleischsalat, but I find it very rich – happy to have the odd mouthful but can’t eat much of it!

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