• Germany's news in English

Butcher makes world's priciest Kobe bratwurst

Tom Barfield · 5 Oct 2015, 16:41

Published: 05 Oct 2015 16:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Dirk Ludwig, a master butcher from Schlüchtern in Hesse, says that he was given the contract to produce sausages from the beef – which costs between €300 and €500 per kilo – by a luxury restaurant.

"My first attempts were unappetizing," Ludwig said.

He had to make several tries to find the right combination of spices and the secret ingredient – cane sugar – to produce bratwurst his mystery customers thought fit to grace their plates.

The master butcher says that he sells the sausages for around €30 each – but even those with a taste for luxury and the money to pay can't get them, as he's only producing them under contract.

'Missing the point'

"I personally find such a product is very regrettable," Michael Böhnke, chef and meat expert at Berlin's Grill Royal restaurant – the first restaurant in Europe ever to obtain a license to serve Kobe beef – told The Local.

Cows destined to produce Kobe beef – a geographically-protected term like champagne - come from families that can be traced back for hundreds of years and are cared for in a way unimaginable to farmers used to Western mass-production methods, Böhnke explained.

The time farmers spend fattening up the cows and the special care taken over the husbandry makes for meat that's delicately marbled with fat and extremely tender.

"It has a special texture and a fine balance of taste between the fat and the meat," Böhnke explained.

"If you make it into sausages, then all that would be destroyed. If you ask me, I'd say it's too bad. Of course you can do that, but you're totally missing the point."

He argues that the real art of sausage making is in how the butcher chooses to combine the beef with spices and other ingredients – not how expensive the meat was in the first place.

Not the first

Ludwig isn't the first German to use Wagyu beef – an umbrella term covering a number of Japanese varieties including Kobe – in processed meat products.

There are plenty of trendy restaurants, especially in Berlin, that offer Wagyu beef burgers in pursuit of big-spending, luxury-hunting guests.

Story continues below…

"Since there's only a very small supply on the market, it's very expensive," Gero Jentzsch of the German Butchers' Association told DPA.

Experiments to try and tempt wealthy palates to table are nothing new among German butchers, he explains, thinking back to sausage sushi, chocolate sausage meat or pig's stomach pralines.

Ludwig himself has a history of playing with liquids, creating "aqua aged" meat by marinading it in carbonated water and attempting the same trick (unsuccessfully) with champagne.

He's also thought up a way to treat meat with beechwood ash and has fresh plans to create steaks in a coconut water marinade.

With DPA

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tom Barfield (tom.barfield@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd