Oktoberfest has been held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany since 1810. The festival, which is the world’s largest fair, lasts for 16-18 days at the end of September until October 3. In addition to the original in Munich, Oktoberfest celebrations are held throughout the world, with hundreds taking place across the United States alone.
Large quantities of German beer are consumed each year at Oktoberfest. In order to qualify as an official Oktoberfest beer, it must be at least six percent alcohol by volume and be brewed within Munich city limits.
Traditional hearty German food can be enjoyed at Oktoberfest including, roasted chicken, duck, goose and pork; fish on a stick; potatoes in many forms including dumplings, pancakes, salad and soup; red cabbage and sauerkraut; warm soft pretzels; and of course, a variety of wursts (German sausages).
Luckily, you don’t have to travel to experience Oktoberfest. You can get a taste at home by cooking up some wursts and kraut in your own kitchen. Most supermarkets carry bratwursts, a flavorful sausage typically made from pork in the United States with a variety of seasonings that can include paprika, dry mustard and cayenne. Many stores carry other popular wursts as well, such as knackwurst or bockwurst.
There are several ways to cook wursts. In Wisconsin it is popular to cooks bratwursts in a beer bath with onions and butter. You can also fill a pot with sauerkraut and let your wurst of choice cook slowly in the kraut. If you like a crispy casing, it is best to parboil your wursts until they are cooked through (or heated through if they come fully cooked), then drain the water and cook them in a little canola oil until the casings get brown and crispy.
You can eat your wursts as is, they taste great alongside sauerkraut and potatoes of your choice (potato salad or mashed are great). You can also serve a wurst on a roll topped with sauerkraut and coarse-ground German mustard.