Knackwurst (German pronunciation: [ˈknakˌvʊʁst] (About this sound listen)) (in North America spelled knockwurst (About this sound listen )) refers to a sausage type of northern German origin from the mid-16th century. The manifold available varieties depend on the geographical region of their production.

Knockwurst in the US

Knockwurst on a Sailor sandwich

In North America, a knockwurst refers to a short, plump sausage originating from northern Germany. It contains ground veal, ground pork, and fresh garlic stuffed into hog casings.[1]

As part of the production process, the sausages are aged for two to five days, then smoked over oak wood. Knockwurst is often prepared highly seasoned.[2]

Knockwurst is sometimes cut in half lengthwise before serving,[3] for example, when served on a sailor sandwich.[4]

Knackwurst in Germany

Hamburger Knacker as sold in German supermarkets (2016)

Numerous varieties of knackwurst exist in Germany; all differ from Austrian knackwurst.[how?][citation needed]

As a specialty in Hamburg, scalded Knackwurst served with mustard and half a slice of white bread is a popular snack for lunch. It is also sold at the Hamburger Dom, the largest Volksfest in northern Germany, under various names like Domknacker, Hamburger Knacker, or Hafenlümmel (literally: harbour tyke).[5]

Etymology and pronunciation

The German noun Knackwurst—which, in English, is sometimes corrupted as knockwurst—comes from the German verb knacken (About this sound listen ) ("to crack") or the adjective knackig (About this sound listen ) ("crisp"). This refers to the swelling of the sausage during the process of cooking, so that the skin becomes pressurized and balloon-like, and tends to "pop," often exploding the juices, when bitten into (authentic example: About this sound listen ). The term ″Knackwurst″ came up in Germany the middle of the 16th century.[6] In Germany, all different kinds of Knackwürste are abbreviated Knacker (About this sound listen ).[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Knackwurst Recipe". Ichef.com. 2007-11-20. Archived from the original on 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  2. ^ Koch, Hermann; Fuchs, Martin: Die Fabrikation feiner Fleisch- und Wurstwaren. Ed. 22. Deutscher Fachverlag, Frankfurt/Main, 2009. ISBN 978-3-86641-187-6.
  3. ^ "German Potato Salad with Knockwurst". Rachael Ray Show. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "knockwurst". leniandviv.com. Archived from the original on 17 February 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Product description on the website of Salzbrenner Hamburg, retrieved on March 17th, 2016.
  6. ^ Friedrich Kluge (Ed.): Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 24., durchgesehene und erweiterte Auflage. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-11-017473-1, P. 501.
  7. ^ Ulrich Ammon, Rhea Kyvelos, Regula Nyffenegger (Ed.): Variantenwörterbuch des Deutschen, Walter de Gruyter, 2004, ISBN 3110165740, P. 417 - section „Knackwurst“