By Any Other Name

Tofurkey calls it a sausage.  I call it a brat.  But despite the fact that we’ve been eating them for years, when YA went to the store last week, she came home without them because I had written “brats” on the list and the product on the shelf said “sausage”.  Sigh. 

I grew up without sausage or brats.  Bacon and hot dogs were our porks of choice; I don’t know why.  I actually had never even heard of a brat until I was married and moved to Milwaukee.  By that time I was a vegetarian so never delved too deeply but has always seemed to me that a brat is just a fat hot dog.  Go ahead… pile on. 

Tofurkey’s Italian sausage is a brat to me, because if it were sausage, in my world it would be smaller and something I might have for breakfast.  But according to YA she didn’t put it in the basket because it didn’t say brat.  I won’t say we actually argued about this, but it was the first time in a long while that I’ve gotten to roll MY eyes.

Is a hot dog in a bun a sandwich?

51 thoughts on “By Any Other Name”

  1. I’m with YA on this one. Your personal lexicon of sausages is arbitrary and confusing. Sausage is the generic term for ground meat (or not meat) plus seasonings stuffed into a casing—or, in the case of sausage patties, unstuffed. Brats are a specific kind of sausage, though I don’t know the specifics. I’m sure it has to do with size, coarseness of the grind, and seasoning. If you called all tubular vegetables carrots, how confusing would that be?

    I haven’t eaten a hot dog in years. Wieners are suspect.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We have several kinds of sausages in our freezer. We also have a new meat grinder/sausage stuffer. As Husband is from Sheboygan, the bratwurst capitol of the world, I have eaten my share of brats. He says a brat is a special kind of sausage meant to be roasted on an open fire, simmered in beer and butter at some point in the process, andcserved on a special bun called a hard roll. The rolls are difficult to find outside of Sheboygan. He prefers Miesfeld’s Triangle Market as a brat source. The rolls come from Fredricks’ bakery. He says a proper brat should have veal and nutmeg in it.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Husband says that growing up in Minnesota doesn’t make you an expert on lefse, it is just part of who you are, just like brats in Sheboygan. I would like to hear Margaret’s ideas on sandwhichs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Many folks have enjoyed the bratwurst dinner they serve at the Black Forest Inn in Minneapolis. “Our excellent handmade bratwurst served two links with hot German potato salad, carefully seasoned sauerkraut and fresh, homemade rye bread.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Huh. According to OED:
    “The definition of a sandwich, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is as follows: ‘An item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling between them, eaten as a light meal. … And that official governing body has decreed that no, a hot dog is not a sandwich.”


  5. hey vs
    she did you a favor
    beyond meats italian sausage is so superior to tofurkey you will never look back
    target has them
    i also bought targets private label knock off to see if they compared well.
    italian sausage and brat is interchangeable
    if you need clarification to make a shopping list you’re in trouble
    bill and ya can shop together chris can shop mail order and the world will continue to function
    i look for general starting points in life
    Are used to have a rule when doing business in China never ask a question that could be answered yes because they will when doing business in Taiwan never ask a question because each question you ask comes back with 15 questions being asked of you and you end up needing to do 12 hours work in order to get them to do their’s
    This reminds me a lot of Taiwan

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wonderful meat market a dozen miles away in Nicollet, makes wonderful sausage and bacon. Not a fan of flavored bacon or sausage. But plain brats from there are wonderful. All their meats are top-drawer. When you walk in and inhale, especially this time of year, you gain three pounds.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company in Minneapolis is my favorite purveyor of eastern European sausages. For Italian sausages I go to Morelli’s or, if I’m feeling flush, Buon Giorno Deli or Cossetta’s.

      The Waldmann Brewery is local watering hole not far from where I live, with a limited menu, and a wonderful assortment of house made German sausages. It’s a great place to hang out for a light meal with a friend; one of the few places where you don’t have to shout to carry on a conversation. The Waldmann is the oldest surviving commercial building in St. Paul, and it has been beautifully restored to maintain it’s original charm. The owner spared no expense to assure the craftsmanship in the restoration, and it shows. Wonderful place.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, now I’m conflicted about whether a hotdog is considered a sausage or something else. At any rate, here’s the Danish contingent of The Swe-Danes take on how to serve “en pølse,” the Danish version of a hotdog:

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Nobody can corral words. Words are in flux from several forces such as changing reality which words address, the use of words as metaphor, the sloppy use of words by advertising and by the uncaring and by the ignorant. I tried not to make a judgment about sloppiness because even some of the sloppy uses make the language more fun. Language is a social construct which means all sorts of things, for instance that people are judged in all sorts of ways and that we adapt our own use of language to the situation. Word choice communicates much more than the simple denotation of the words. A large vocabulary and “correct” use of words often makes for poor communication. Among my always losing battles as an English teacher were with the students who thought the point of communication is to use the largest and rarest word possible and with the parents or just adults who insisted it was my job to defend the language.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I love brats.
    We’ve been getting our pork from a local guy, a friend from the college. “Cousin Huck’s” on FB. The bacon is the best we’ve ever had. The cottage bacon is wonderful. Several kinds of brats and they’re all delicious.

    Liked by 3 people

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