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Where to have a sausage fest in Europe

Published October 15th, 2014

Who invented the hotdog? According to hot-dog.org (yes, really), the humble frankfurter hails from Frankfurt in Germany, although snacking on street sausages was mentioned as far back as ancient Greek times. A dog encased in a long bun and topped with ketchup and mustard may be synonymous with baseball games and street stands in NYC, but pretty much every city and country around the world has their version of this most satisfying and portable of cheap street meats. When only grease and dubious meat quality will do (oh hai, 3am clubbers), here’s where to have a sausage fest in Europe. Have a wiener, dude.

 

 

Pylsa in Reykjavik

Icelanders have two words for their take on the frank – pulsa (‘hot dog’) and pylsa (‘hot canine’). Icelandic semantics aside, a pylsa/pulsa is the same thing – a smooth, shiny sausage that’s boiled and placed in a bun. Order ‘eina meö öllu’ – one with everything – including raw onions, crispy onions, tomato sauce, special hotdog mustard and remoulade (a mayo pickle sauce).

 

 

Currywurst in Berlin

The Germans took the frankfurter, doused it in tomato sauce and then sprinkled liberal amounts of curry powder to make this most unappealing looking snack, said to be invented in 1949. Haters be hating – Berlin locals love this snack so much, there’s an entire museum dedicated to currywurst and patented sauces to top your dog with. Eat it on its own with fries.

 

 

Pølsevogn in Copenhagen

Meaning ‘sausage wagon’ in Danish, pølsevogn is a mainstay that’s been around for almost a century. Found at street stands around Copenhagen, the basic Danish dog comes deconstructed with a bun and squirt of mustard and hotdog ketchup on the side. Pimp your wiener with pickled cucumber, crispy onions and herby remoulade  for a 'ristet' hotdog.

 

 

Merguez frites in Paris

What do you get when you cram skinny spicy and smoky lamb sausages (yes, more than one) into a baguette and top liberally with hot-as harissa and fries? Why, you get the Moroccan-French lovechild that is merguez frites, a trembling tower of fat that’s the preferred street eat of Parisians. What, you thought all they ate was macarons?

 

The naked (no casing) Dutch sausage.

 

Frikandel in Amsterdam

Found in the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), a frikandel is a skinless sausage made of mystery meat (mostly horse) but Amsterdammers don’t debate the dubious origins of their deep-fried dog. Order a frikandel speciaal where your sausage will come lovingly layered with mayo, curry ketchup and minced raw onion – it’s even available from vending machines!

 

Pigs in blankets - Russky style.

 

Sosiska v testye in Moscow

Russian cuisine doesn’t have the best rep (cabbage soup, anyone?), but if you’re going to venture into the freezing Moscow cold, best line your stomach with a ‘sausage in dough’ and warm yourself up with vodka. Get your pastry wrapped pork, a.k.a. sosiska v teste, in stolovayas – no-frills Soviet-era cafes, and sausage stands on the street.

 

Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.