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The German leberwurst (anglicized as liverwurst), that translates literally as "liver sausage," is the typical sausage served in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Romania (especially in Transylvania). Liverwurst normally contains pigs' livers, rather than calves' livers and also contains veal. Another typical German sausage, Kalbsleberwurst, is translated as "calf liver sausage". Braunschweiger is a spreadable liver sausage that is sometimes called liverwurst or just "liver sausage" in North America.
Most liverwurst varieties are spreadable. The sausage is usually made with pork. Only about 10-20% of the sausage is actually made using pork liver, which is enough to give it a distinctive liver-taste. Other ingredients are meat, fat, and spices including ground black pepper, marjoram, allspice, thyme, ground mustard seed, or nutmeg. Many regions in Germany have distinct recipes for liverwurst. Adding ingredients like pieces of onion or bacon into the recipe make each variety of liverwurst very important to cultural identity. For example, the Thüringer Leberwurst has PGI protection throughout the EU. Recently, more exotic additions such as cowberries and mushrooms have gained popularity.
Liverwurst is typically eaten as is and without further cooking. It is often served in traditional sandwiches or on open-faced sandwiches. It is popular in North America with red onion and mustard on a rye or whole grain bread. In Germany, the Southern USA, and the Western USA, liverwurst is served with slices of gherkin that are pickled with sugar, vinegar, and mustard seeds. In the Northeast USA, liverwurst is served with gherkins that are pickled with salt and a usual addition of dill.
Another German variety, especially in the Rhineland region, is pan-fried liverwurst that is served with large amounts of fried onions, and a chunky mixture of mashed apples and potatoes. Dishes, like this one served in the Rhineland region, that have mixtures of spicy and sweet flavors are regionally common.