Thursday, September 27, 2007


I am a leberwurst devoté. ‘Leberwurst’ (liverwurst)-- that Germanic spread made up of pureed pig liver, fat and salt is in my blood, both literally and figuratively.

For my entire life, leberwurst has been offered as a sandwich by my mother (although she calls it by its rightful Midwestern name, braunshwagger). Her mother made the sandwiches for her, as did her mother’s mother and so on.

It has evolved into part of our genetic code.

I remember many times that an unsuspecting friend would stop by as my family was eating lunch, gratefully taking a seat at the kitchen table with us, anticipating something absolutely spectacular (listening to the seven of us oohing and ahhing over our sandwiches), only to have a plate reeking of pig liver thrust in front of them. From polite, “No thank you” to an involuntary gagging response, no one ever took us up on a braunshwagger and butter sandwich.

But we didn’t care. We loved them. And so do my kids now (except the vegetarian). When the twins were just learning to eat with their hands it was leberwurst spread onto soft bread that they ate most heartily. They each get two triangles of leberwurst sandwich in their lunch box when they go to spiel gruppe (play group). It is the leberwurst and butter sandwich that is most popular on family picnics.

Vive la leberwurst!

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