All that reading of my grandma’s diaries left me with a craving for liverwurst.
I don’t think she cared for the stuff, but my grandpa loved it, and so she would serve it to him as a special treat.
In my growing-up years, I was aware of my grandpa’s love of liverwurst because every once in a while it’d end up on the dinner table in my parents’ home, and of course we’d have to talk about it.
I mean, we were kids and liverwurst is grey. GREY. And mushy. Liver already does not have a great reputation for deliciousness, but then you go and add ‘wurst’ to the end and, well, it just gets so much worse.
However, at some point my tastes began to change. I admitted to myself that actually I enjoy pretty much all food… even liverwurst.
The mustard makes a huge difference. You gotta have the mustard to cut through all that fat.
Even though I did come around to happily consuming liverwurst in my parents’ home, I have never purchased it for myself in the entire 18 years Andrew and I have been married. I probably haven’t had the stuff for at least 20 years.
I finished reading through my grandma’s diaries, by the way. I’m not gonna talk about all that right now except to say that I began to notice she mentioned serving Pete liverwurst an awful lot. It was how she was showing him love. Somehow all this mentioning of liverwurst made me hungry for the stuff.
The day after I finished reading grandma’s very last diary, I found myself at Main Bread & Butter, staring into the meat cooler. Liverwurst.
Once home, I read the instructions and was instantly confused. “Cook before eating.” And yet, at the same time, “Ready to eat”. Wait! Which is it?
Seems to me we always ate it straight out of the package… raw, I guess? Or… is it okay? Seems like the packaging itself is conflicted.
I really had a hankering to eat it the way I remembered… but that “cook before eating” thing got me. So I awkwardly cut a section and gingerly set it into the frying pan and turned on the heat.
I proceeded to get a little distracted until I remembered I had something going on the stovetop and hurried back. The liverwurst chunks were now crispy on the bottom. I put ’em onto a plate with a squish of mustard, grabbed a fork and sat down next to Andrew with my treat.
“What’s that?” he asked.
“An appetizer!” I replied brightly.
Hungry, he tried it.
“Um, where’d you get this appetizer?” he asked diplomatically.
“Do you like it? It’s liverwurst!” I exclaimed with pride.
“That explains the liver taste,” he said, reaching for the knackzoat (his preferred appetizer).
So… I don’t know that this is a review. Rather, I am kind of mystified. I mean, I think this is the first time I’ve had cooked liverwurst. It didn’t really satisfy my craving for uncooked liverwurst. But that “cook before eating” thing really threw me.
I found the cooked liverwurst to be much more salty than I remember the uncooked version being. I feel like maybe no one actually cooks their liverwurst and I was a fool to try.
Now I have all this cooked liverwurst in my freezer that Andrew won’t touch, and I feel compelled to take my grandparent-inspiration one step further and make something grandma recorded in her diary as “wurst bubbat”.
I like bubbat! It’s like a less-sweet white cake that you eat with your Sunday chicken dinner, right? But I’ve always had it with raisins. Not liverwurst. How had I overlooked this delicious treat from the Mennonite Treasury? Time to give it a try, as an ode to my grandparents.