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Thüringer Leberwurst (literally: Thuringian liver sausage) is a Kochwurst (precooked sausage) for spreading legs. It consists of pork meat, pork liver, nitrite curing salt, braised onions, and a mixture of herbs and spices. The characteristic taste is created by the addition of Thuringian marjoram and ground pepper, and by smoking.
The term "Thüringer Leberwurst" was assigned the protected geographical indication (PGI) status in European Council Regulation (EC) No. 510/2006 of March 20, 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs.
During the modern production process, first the bile ducts are removed from the freshly slaughtered pork liver and the liver is minced. Lean pork meat and bacon from which the rind has been removed, or dewlap meat, are now first cured and then scalded at 80°C (176°F). The scalded meat is then finely ground in a bowl cutter and, if necessary, an emulsifier is added. The pre-minced liver is ground to a finer degree at 45-50°C (115-120°F) until the desired emulsion is created. Both masses are mixed, seasoned, and filled into natural casings at a temperature between 40 and 50°C (105-120°F). The filled sausage is boiled in 75-78°C (167-172°F) hot water and finally cold-smoked at 25-30°C (75-85°F) over beech wood.
Instead of in natural casings, the sausage can also be filled into screw-off jars or cans. The filling of true Thüringer Leberwurst into synthetic casings, however, is not allowed. Only bladders and beef or pork intestines may be used.