I randomly mentioned in my previous posts my love for cold cuts from central Europe.
We grew up with this food and cold cuts in a sandwich for school lunch break was common in our childhoods.
So when we, my husband and myself, visited my family in Austria during July and August, I was asked to write a post about cold cuts from central Europe.
Note: As a culinary meat lover I suggest you save or bookmark this post if you are currently visiting central Europe or if you are planning to do so.
I am going to explain the different meat and sausage cuts and teach you how to buy fresh meat cuts from local grocery shops.
The one to suggest that I should share my knowledge around cold cuts was nonother then my Goan born food picky husband.
Of course, I was surprised to hear this from his side but then I realized why he got the idea.
You see, he loves his cold meat cuts, – such as salami to name one – especially sandwiched in a Semmel bread bun with sweet and sour cucumber pickles.
Besides a growing attraction towards towering sliced midnight meat sandwiches, he found himself also asking about the different types and names of cold sliced meat varieties in central Europe.
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There are countless different cold meats and sausages displayed in grocery shops everywhere in Europe.
The choice is overwhelming between German, Austria, and Italian lunch meats!
Each country and even region will have their traditional meats and sausages.
Austrian and Bavarian shops (German) have a similar choice of cold sliced meat cuts and frequently the same meats are known with different names across the borders.
The best example would be a popular thick smooth, juicy and lightly spiced meat cut, which is better known in some parts of Austria and Germany as Fleischkäse (literal translation: meat cheese) or also as Leberkäse (Literal translation: liver cheese), but both are the same things, the same meat variation.
I will get to the most common cold meat cut varieties from central Europe in this post and I will share my all-time favorite ones with you, but first I want you to take in these pictures, which I took with a mobile in a local shop in Austria.
Isn’t that a beautiful sight for meat enthusiasts?
It always reminds me of an Asterix Comic episode where Obelix finishes the whole curing meat and sausage in cellar in seconds.
Unfortunately, I can’t recount which Asterix episode it was, but as a child, I wished I could have experienced such a meat and sausage paradise.
cold cuts sausage preparation, I am just sharing what we learned back in college.
There are 3 main different cold meat/sausage preparations, which include:
- Raw Cold cuts/sausages such as Salamis
- Cooked Cold cuts/sausages such as Liver sausage
- Brewed Cold cuts/sausages such as Extrawurst and Mortadella
Cold cuts/sausages are made with either or mixed with meats such as pork, beef, wild game, veal, mutton, horse and poultry/turkey.
Each of the 3 different cold meat preparations is first reduced to a fine consistency and then salts, herbs, and spices are added.
The most common Cold cuts are usually raw or brewed, whereas the raw cold cuts can be stored longer.
Pink-shaded brewed cold cuts can be kept for a few days only before they start to get bad.
The most common pink-shaded cold cuts are the popular Extrawurst, Paprikawurst (or Pikantewurst) and Champignonwurst as seen in the picture above.
All three can be found all over Austria and Bavaria.
Especially the Extrawurst, the regular fine cold cut sausage, is an all-time favorite in Austria.
Incidentally, a well known Austrian criminal serial with a German Shepard as star detective, sees the German Shepard asking for Extrawurst sandwich treats. Yep, even our pets eat the best of sausages…
Other pink-shaded cold cuts include:
- all the different ham varieties – for example, mountain ham and pressed ham
- sausages based on the Extrawurst (as Paprika and mushroom sausage) – for example, Olive sausage, pickled cucumber sausage, cheese sausage, chili sausage, pistachio sausage etc
- foreign cold meats such as the Italian Mortadella, Lyoner or Bologna Sausage
Then, of course, we have our beloved raw cold cuts such as Salami.
Salamis are omnipresent all over Europe and there are countless variations.
Some are fattier some are less.
Some are more spiced then others and as you can see they can vary in the intensity of red saturation.
Do you have similar cold cuts in your country?
A few German words from this post…
sausage – Wurst
ham – Schinken
Paris mushroom – Champignon
bell pepper/capsicum – Paprika
Garlic – Knoblauch