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Leberkäse

About this sound Leberkäse (sometimes spelled Leberkäs or Leberka(a)s in Austria and the Swabian, Bavarian and Franconian parts of Germany and Fleischkäse in Switzerland and the Tyrol) is a specialty food found in the south of Germany, in Austria and parts of Switzerland, similar to bologna sausage or spam (food). It consists of corned beef, pork, bacon and onions and is made by grinding the ingredients very fine and then baking it as a loaf in a bread pan until it has a crunchy brown crust.

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History

Leberkäse is said to have been invented in 1776 by the cook of Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, although this story has been heavily contested. The name "Leberkäse" literally translates to "liver-cheese" even though in Bavaria the dish traditionally contains neither liver nor cheese. Linguists believe that the etymology of the word either involves the Middle High German word lab (to clot) or the word laib (loaf), and the Slavic root quas (feast).

According to German food laws, only products called "Bavarian Leberkäse" are allowed not to contain liver; otherwise, there must be a minimum liver content of 4%. Some local variants must contain even more liver; for example, the liver content of "Stuttgarter Leberkäse" must be at least 5%.

Methods of eating

Leberkässemmel

Leberkäse is traditionally enjoyed a variety of ways, including:

  • Cut into approximately finger-thick slices, usually served with süßem Senf (Bavarian sweet mustard) and soft pretzels or Kartoffelsalat (potato salad).
  • On a semmel while still hot and seasoned with mustard. The result, generally called Leberkässemmel (or Leberkäsweckla in the Franconian parts of Germany), is a staple of Bavarian and Austrian fast food restaurants.
  • Pan-fried ("abgebräunt", browned), in which case it is commonly accompanied by a fried egg and German potato salad. This is a very common Biergarten dish.
  • Cold, cut into very thin slices and used on a variety of sandwiches.

Variants

Known variants include:

  • Käseleberkäse, which adds small pieces of evenly-distributed cheese to the mix
  • Pikanter Leberkäse, which adds small pieces of pickles and paprika pepper bells
  • Pizzaleberkäse, which adds cheese, cut bell peppers, pickles and small cubes of salami, also known as Pizzakäse or for its similarity to Pizza.
  • Pferdeleberkäse, which substitutes horse meat for the corned beef component

External links

Bavarian Leberkäse

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

German

Etymology

Folk etymology: Leber (liver) + Käse (cheese), although the original dish contains neither. First part probably from Middle High German lab “to clot” or Laib “loaf”, last part either from the semblance of cheese in form, or from Slavic root quas “feast”.

Pronunciation

Noun

Leberkäse m. (genitive Leberkäses, plural Leberkäse)

  1. A popular dish in southern Germany, Austria and parts of Switzerland, similar to meat loaf.
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