There’s a good chance that you’ve heard of liverwurst at some point in your life.
There’s also a good chance that you’ve heard about it because someone was complaining about being forced to eat it as a child. While most people have heard of liverwurst at one time or another, many people haven’t heard about its counterpart known as braunschweiger. Even though both of these meats have a lot in common, there are some very distinct differences between the two. Despite the fact that there are a whole lot of people who are turned off by these meats, there are still plenty of people out there who enjoy eating them from time to time. If you haven’t been scarred by having to eat liverwurst as a child and you think you might want to give it a try, or you already know that you like it and want to learn a little bit about these mysterious meats, then keep reading to learn some valuable information about liverwurst and braunschweiger.
What is Liverwurst?
Coming from Germany, liverwurst is a favorite of people from all over Europe. While it comes in the shape of a sausage, it’s actually a meat-based product that is seasoned in a variety of ways and comes in different forms. One form of liverwurst has a firmer texture but is still very soft, and it’s able to be sliced for sandwiches. Liverwurst can also come in a spreadable form that looks similar to pâté.
What is Liverwurst Made Out Of?
There are three main ingredients that go into making liverwurst: meat, organ meat, and fat. The meat used in liverwurst typically comes from beef or pork, and while the primary organ included in liverwurst is obviously liver, there are other organ meats that are used as well, including the heart and kidney.
There are also a variety of different seasonings used in liverwurst, as well. But like most other recipes, the exact spices used is entirely dependent on the person making the liverwurst. While most liverwurst contains salt, black pepper, and onion powder, you can also find the following spices included in some recipes, as well:
- White pepper
- Mustard seed
How is Liverwurst Made?
As you can probably assume, there’s not a whole lot of work that goes into making liverwurst. The main idea is to grind and mix the combination of meat, organ meat, fat, and seasonings. Once the mixture has been completed, it’s typically put into a sausage casing. As we said before, the exact ingredients for liverwurst aren’t definitive because every person makes their liverwurst a little bit differently.
What’s the Difference Between Liverwurst and Braunschweiger?
As we said before, these two types of meats are very similar, but there are definitely some pretty significant differences between the two. So, before we get to the health benefits (and downfalls) of eating these meats, let’s talk about the differences between the two.
Both of these sausages are made from pork livers and are typically combined with spices to give them additional flavor. While they can both be used as a spread, they can also be hard enough to cut into slices to go on sandwiches or on a meat platter. As you can see, they’re a lot alike in many ways, but there are a couple of things that set the two apart.
The main difference between liverwurst (a general term for liver sausage) and braunschweiger is the fact that braunschweiger is usually smoked and liverwurst is not. Even though liverwurst isn’t smoked like braunschweiger, bacon is typically added to ensure that it has a little bit of that smoky flavor. The other difference between the two is where the meats come from. Braunschweiger has gotten its name from a small town in Germany called Braunschweig. Apparently, the people of Braunschweig smoke their liver sausages, and wanting people to know the difference between the two, they decided to name their liver sausages something other than liverwurst.
As you can clearly see, there aren’t too many differences between these two liver sausages. Now that you understand that little fact, let’s talk about the health benefits and setbacks that surround these liver sausages.
There are a little over 14 grams of protein per 100 g of liverwurst, and because the main source of protein comes from muscle and organ meats, liverwurst provides a “complete source” of protein. A complete source of protein is defined by the appearance of all of the nine essential amino acids. Unfortunately, because liverwurst has fat and different seasonings, it doesn’t provide the same protein content as other meats.
High in Vitamin B12 and Other B Vitamins
Liverwurst is actually an incredible source of vitamin B12, which is an essential mineral that plays a role in red blood cell and DNA formation and helps us to maintain a healthy nervous system. In fact, just 100 grams of liverwurst supply 224% of the reference daily intake. Liverwurst also provides the full range of B vitamins, with especially high concentrations of B2 and B5.
A Source of Retinol
One of the highest concentrations of retinol, the pre-formed version of vitamin A, can be found in the liver. This means that liverwurst offers a substantial supply of retinol, as well. Per 100 grams, liverwurst contains more than 550% of the RDI for vitamin A, which is important for our vision and immune system.
High in Sodium
Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of salt contained in liverwurst. With every 100 grams of liverwurst, you get approximately 36% of your RDI for sodium. Obviously, this can certainly be a health concern, especially for people who are sensitive to salt or suffer from high cholesterol.
Cheap Filler Ingredients
Even though most liverwurst is made from fat, organ, and liver, many products also contain cheap fillers like wheat, flour, and vegetable oil. If you’d like to avoid eating these fillers, make sure to read the ingredients label very carefully.
How Do You Eat Liverwurst?
Now that you understand what liverwurst actually is, let’s talk about how it can be eaten!
Use it as a Spread
Liverwurst can be used in the same way that someone would eat cream cheese or a cheeseball. This means that you can put it on top of crackers, use it as a stuffing for vegetables, or even serve alongside a tray of meat.
Add it to Your Soup or Stew
It may come as a surprise, but liverwurst can be added to your favorite soup or stew to increase the nutrient profile. It also helps with the flavor, as well!
Fried Liverwurst with Onions
For a quick, simple meal full of protein, throw some liverwurst in a pan with some butter and onions. Fry the liverwurst to your desired consistency, but make sure that you use the sliceable kind and not the kind used for spreading.
You see, liverwurst isn’t as scary as people have made it out to be. While it’s certainly not for everyone, there are definitely plenty of people out there who enjoy this liver sausage. If you’re interested in trying liverwurst, or you’d like to shake things up a bit, look up some recipes to find out how you can add liverwurst into your life. If anything, do it for the protein!