Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

frankfurter a long, slender smoked sausage with a very soft fine texture. They are scalded before sale and parboiled in simmering water, so belong to the sausage type known in Germany as Brühwurst (see sausages of Germany). As their name suggests, the sausages originated in or near the city of Frankfurt in Germany—according to E. Lissner’s exhaustive Wurstologia (1939), in the mid-17th century.

Genuine frankfurters are made from lean pork mixed with bacon fat made into a paste and smoked, although similar sausages of beef or veal and pork, spiced and smoked, are made in the area. tripe, pig’s heart, and small amounts of cereal in the form of flour or breadcrumbs also find their way into some frankfurters; salt, saltpetre, sugar, mace, pepper, coriander, garlic, and onion are used in various combinations for seasoning. The saltpetre gives a pink colour. The ‘franks’ sold in the USA often contain a mixture of beef and pork; kosher types, consisting entirely of beef, are also made.