Beyond Brats: Berliner Leberwurst, German Sausage


A whole roll of Berliner Leberwurst from Stiglmeier sausages in Illinois, and purchased at Dickman’s Deli in Tucson.


Introducing the fifth German sausage that I’m trying–Berliner Leberwurst (liverwurst).  An acquired taste for some people, I seemed to be born liking  liverwurst.   So if you run for the hills at the thought of this paté-like sausage, that’s perfectly okay with me.

Leberwurst serves more as a snack or appetizer than the centerpiece of a meal.  The soft sausage spreads nicely on a cracker or a piece of bread.




Berliner or Bayerische?

Berliner Leberwurst

Rough texture of Berliner Leberwurst

Leberwurst sausage holds the lead place among sausage favorites in Germany. Nearly ever region has its own version. And each of those versions will have slightly different ingredients–but always liver. But what, I wondered, is a BERLINER Leberwurst?  Obviously something that comes from Berlin, but besides that?  Turns out that while the sausage makers describe Berliner as having a milder taste,  the main difference comes in the texture.  While I am used to a very smooth, fine grind for leberwurst, the Berliner leberwurst comes with lumps and bumps.

In checking the Stiglmeier web site, I noticed that they also offer several other types of leberwurst, including a Bayerisch leberwurst that is smoother, finer than the Berliner version. The ancestors I have tracked to Germany so far, generally come from Bavaria, as do several of the German Sausages that I have featured here. Maybe that explains my preference for the smoother deli-style leberwurst, and I’ll be looking for that at my neighborhood butcher shop.

Berliner Leberwurst

Berliner Leberwurst ingredients.

What is In the Sausage?

As we have seen with other sausages, “what is in the sausage” is sometimes a question better not asked.

The Stiglmeier company makes the coarse-ground sausage of

“Pork Liver, Pork, Pork Snouts, Onions, Salt, Spices, Sugar, Garlic, Marjoram, Sodium Erythorbate, Dextrose, Sodium Nitrite.”

If you weren’t turned off by the thought of the paté- like texture, the ‘pork snouts’ in the ingredients ought to chase you away.

How to Eat Berliner Leberwurst

So if it is not a centerpiece of a meal, like knackwurst or bratwurst, how do you eat Berliner (or any other) leberwurst?

One thing is missing here–if I could, I’d add a large slice of sweet onion. I can’t eat onions but when I was young, I’d eat that combo as often as my mother bought leberwurst (also sometimes called braunschweiger).

Did I Like Berliner Leberwurst?

Not as much as I liked the finer grind of liverwurst that I am used to.Those lumps you see in the picture are sometimes too hard to chew.

Want to Make Your Own?

This site has some interesting insights on the love of Germans for their leberwurst, and a recipe (no pig snouts required!)

The German Sausage Series






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4 thoughts on “Beyond Brats: Berliner Leberwurst, German Sausage

  1. Janice Brown

    Vera, as a liverwurst fan I found this story to be quite interesting. I, like you, would probably not like the un-chewable lumps and bumps in the Berliner variety. But was that style of liverwurst from an old recipe perhaps, before the age of modern blenders and the ability to get rid of the lumps?

    1. Avatar photoVera Marie Badertscher Post author

      I can’t really answer that question Janice, but it is an interesting speculation. However, since it is still sold, and there are many varieties of liverwurst–stronger, milder, smoother, coarser–in various regions, perhaps it was just one of those “that’s the way we’ve always had it” things. In fact, I have one of those crank grinders that you attach to the edge of a table, and you can get a pretty fine grind, come to think of it. Maybe its like some people liking the peelings left on potatoes and some like the peelings off?

      You’ve heard that story about a woman being asked why she cut the ends of of her roast, and she said she wasn’t sure, but that’s the way her mother had always done it. Curious, she asked her mother, and her mother said, “I don’t know, but that’s the way my mother always did it.” That got her mother curious, and she asked grandma. Grandma said, “Well, the whole roast didn’t fit in the only pan I had, so I had to cut off the ends.”


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