McDonald’s to sell Hoeneß bratwurst burger

Uli Hoeneß, German footballing legend and club president of FC Bayern Munich, has teamed up with US fast food chain McDonald’s to sell bratwurst, the company announced on Friday.

McDonald's to sell Hoeneß bratwurst burger
Photo: McDonalds

“We’re showing once again that McDonald’s thinks regionally,” said the firm’s vice chairman Holger Beeck.

Hoeneß, who co-owns the HoWe sausage factory with his son Florian in Nuremberg, came up with the Teutonic treat – three small bratwurst smothered in mustard and grilled onions on a roll – which McDonald’s will sell as Nürnburger. The name is slight alteration of the typical regional sausages known as Nürnberger that is meant to play on McDonald’s burger sales.

The country’s 1,361 McDonald’s locations will begin the three-month offer on July 5.

“The hamburger became famous around the world, why should the Nürnburger have any less potential,” Hoeneß said.

The FC Bayern president has been adding humorous videos about his “invention” to his own website over the past few weeks.

And just in time for McDonald’s PR blitz, next month’s edition of the country’s top consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest’s magazine gave the Hoeneß family HoWe brand sausages their coveted gut seal of approval.

Germans eat an estimated 2.7 kilos of bratwurst each year, the magazine said, but they may be disappointed to find out only one in four of the bratwurst tested received the “good” rating.

The government-funded but independent foundation chose grilling season as an appropriate time to review 19 bratwurst sausages available at stores around the country.

Nürnberger bratwurst from Rewe, HoWe Original and Schlütter’s Original took three of the top spots, results showed. Meanwhile Wolf brand Thüringer and sausages from Bratmaxe took second and fifth place.

According to the organisation, it is not surprising that both Nürnberger and Thüringer sausages tested so well, because they are regionally protected and must meet higher standards that dictate the origin and composition of the meat.

While the organisation also found three of the sausage brands to be “deficient,” they found that many of them still exceeded test guidelines for meat content, containing more flesh than gristle. But those labelled as “top quality” or “delicatessen” were not always the best, they added.

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Only in Germany: McDonald’s begins offering ‘Spargel Burger’

Amid Germany's famous 'Asparagus Season', the fast food chain has begun offering an unusual twist on typical ingredients.

Only in Germany: McDonald's begins offering 'Spargel Burger'
A basket of Spargel in Kutzleben, Thuringia marked the start of this year's season on April 14th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Martin Schutt

How do you know that you’re definitely in Germany? One sure fire way: when you check the menu of a McDonald’s in the springtime and see a ‘Spargel Burger’. 

Germans are so enamored by the ‘white gold’ –  special light-coloured asparagus which is much thicker than its North American green counterpart – that it’s now a featured fast food at McDonald’s Germany, and with classic Hollandaise sauce and bacon to boot. 

On Thursday, the popular American fast-food chain restaurant – which counts nearly 1,500 outlets in Germany – published a photo of the “Big Spargel Hollandaise” saying that it would be available at select restaurants. They assured customers: “Yes, it’s really there.”

But its release was met with mixed reactions. “We absolutely have to go to McDonald’s sometime,” wrote one. Yet another called the unconventional creation “perverse.”

Another commenter showed skepticism: “Hollandaise sauce on a burger? Does that even taste good?”

Others weighed in on social media to point out that the product is a sign of Germany’s fascination with the vegetable. 

The burger is the latest to join the asparagus craze, with a phallic-shaped Spargel monument in Torgau, Saxony capturing the public attention – or bewilderment – earlier in the week.

An annual tradition

Every year, Germany typically celebrates ‘Spargelzeit’ (asparagus season) from the middle of April until June 24th, which many dub ‘Spargelsilvester’ (Asparagus-New Year’s Eve). 

READ ALSO: German word of the day: Spargelzeit

The beloved vegetable, harvested heavily around the country, usually has its own special menu devoted to it at restaurants, and is sold in supermarkets – or road-side stands – next to jars of the classic Hollandaise sauce. 

The top states which grow the crop are Lower Saxony, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, but Beeliz, Brandenburg is also synonymous with Spargel in Germany. 

In normal years the tiny town hosts a sprawling festival to mark the start of the season, anointing a Spargel king and queen.

READ ALSO: Here’s why Germans go so completely crazy for asparagus