Christmas eve and topfsuelze galore

Berry the akitachow on christmas eve of 2006

Sorry for the delay in posting, but I have been away for quite a while spending time with my father, who passed away last month. I am backlogged in my posting and will take care of that in the next couple of weeks. We did manage to have another one of our traditional German Christmas Eve feasts this evening, and I have the photos to prove it. I can’t help but feature Topfsuelze here, though, as befits its place in my Christmas Eve meat product hierarchy. Honestly, if I had to choose one thing to eat at this meal it would be Topfsuelze, which is more or less head cheese, but not the kind that would come to mind to an Amerikaner. This is not at all fatty and has a very bright, clean flavor. There are various versions of this pork-in-sour-aspic delight, but the best contains many little chunks of tongue. It is produced in loaf form with a thick layer of aspic on top into which sliced eggs, pickles and carrots are molded. I order

German head cheese

a boatload of it and then hide it in the back of the fridge where no one else in my household would ever look — near actual ingredients for cooking. I urge you to try this, even if the idea turns you off. It is so damned good! Allow me to mention a few of the other goodies on the table: Teewurst, a cured, ground pork spread with a bit of a twang that comes either finely or coarsely ground; Blutwurst with tongue, which is mainly, well, blood with chunks of tongue (sorry, but nothing goes to waste when it comes to sausage-making in the old country); several types of Cervelat, which is salami; Leberkäse, spiced pork paste baked in a loaf pan, sliced and eaten warm, and, last but never, ever, least, Leberwurst, both smooth and chunky. If we were in Germany, we would have had herring salad on the table, too, but it is difficult to find salted herring in the U.S. from which to prepare it. Next year I’ll go into more detail about the various Würste, as I hope to have more time.

German food served on christmas eve of 2006

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