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What Makes a Brat a Brat?

Nothing says ‘tailgating’ like throwing some brats on the grill. But that brings up the question: what is it that makes a brat a brat, and not just another hot dog?

You could go to the fount of all wisdom – Wikipedia – where you’d learn that ‘brat’ is simply short for ‘bratwurst,’ a German-style sausage (‘brat’ meaning ‘finely chopped meat’ and ‘wurst’ meaning, well, ‘sausage’), typically made from pork, veal or beef. You would also discover there are about a bazillion recipes for making bratwurst, which can vary widely or subtly based on the region. One thing that is common to all brats; they are neither cured nor smoked. They are always sold fresh, and preservation come strictly from refrigeration. (Note: there’s an old saying in the music industry – ‘Records are like sausages – you love the end result, but you don’t want to watch either being made.’ ‘Nuff said.

But let’s get serious – If you’re going to throw some brats on the grill, you’re probably not looking for some old-world German bratwurst. You probably want a good, old-fashioned, authentic American brat; like the kind they make in Wisconsin. And you want it grilled to perfection, to a deep, dark crispy brown; and you want it soaked in buttered beer and onions and topped with mustard and sauerkraut, and served on a crusty bun. Of course, if you prefer your brat with cheese and barbeque sauce, that’s your choice. This is America after all!


A collection of interesting recipes than range from appetizing dinner dishes to your favorite alcoholic beverages.