Papa Cantella's Blog

What Makes a Bratwurst a Bratwurst?

Posted by Papa Cantella's on Aug 28, 2017 9:29:00 AM


Nothing says summer like Bratwurst.

For us here at Papa Cantella’s, there’s no meal more satisfying than a perfectly-grilled Bratwurst nestled in a well-toasted bun, topped with grilled onions and peppers and just a smidge of brown mustard. Mmmmm!

As so many of our friends and family look to us as the “sausage experts,” we get questions all the time about Bratwurst. The most common? “What makes a Bratwurst a Bratwurst?

The History of Bratwurst

Bratwurst is a traditionally German sausage. (The name actually comes from the German words brät-, which means “finely chopped” and wurst, which means sausage.) Hard to believe, but the first documented recording of the word comes from 1313!

In Germany, there are over 40 types of sausage that are recognized as Bratwurst. Each region actually has its own specific recipe: some use beef, some use pork, some blend together several meats including veal. Each locality incorporates its own blend of spices like marjoram, nutmeg, or even lemon zest; every region eats its Bratwurst in different lengths and serves it with different side dishes.

American Bratwurst

Here in America, we call ‘em “brats!” Bratwurst was originally popularized in the U.S. in Wisconsin, brought there by German immigrants in the early 20th century. Today, they’re a mainstay at barbecues and sporting events across the country.

Just like in Germany, the word “brat” here in America refers to a different kind of sausage depending on where you are and which brand you’re eating! So, what makes a Bratwurst a Bratwurst? It’s all in the grill. Historically, any German sausage meant to be grilled could have technically been called a Bratwurst. Today’s Bratwurst are known for being thick, well-seasoned, and made of premium-quality meats.

Papa Cantella’s Bratwurst

At Papa Cantella’s, we’ve been perfecting our Bratwurst sausage recipe for over 30 years. Using exclusively fresh pork sausage, our Bratwurst are made with a hand-blend of different spices like ground mustard, coriander, and…well, the rest is a secret!

In addition to regular Bratwurst, we also make a special Beer Bratwurst that is particularly popular in summertime and, naturally, during Oktoberfest celebrations. Not only is our pork Beer Bratwurst designed to perfectly complement the taste of beer, it’s actually injected with the stuff! We infuse each link with a bit of Double Barrel Ale from our friends at Firestone Walker Brewing Company to give them a distinctively malty taste.


Ready for some brats? Us too!
Check with your local grocer today to find out where they keep their Papa Cantella’s Bratwurst and Beer Brats. Don’t see them in the meat case? Be sure to tell your grocer you’d like them in stock!

Topics: Grilling Season