Leberkäse (German, literally means 'liver cheese'; sometimes spelled Leberkäs or Leberka(a)s in Austria and the Swabian, Bavarian and Franconian parts of Germany and Fleischkäse in Switzerland and the Tyrol) is a specialty food found in the south of Germany, in Austria and parts of Switzerland, similar to bologna sausage. It consists of corned beef, pork, bacon and onions and is made by grinding the ingredients very fine and then baking it as a loaf in a bread pan until it has a crunchy brown crust.
Leberkäse is said to have been invented in 1776 by the cook of Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, although this story has been heavily contested. The name "Leberkäse" literally translates to "liver-cheese" even though in Bavaria the dish traditionally contains neither liver nor cheese. Linguists believe that the etymology of the word either involves the Middle High German word lab (to clot) or the word laib (loaf), and the Slavic root quas (feast).
According to German food laws, only products called "Bavarian Leberkäse" are allowed not to contain liver; otherwise, there must be a minimum liver content of 4%. Some local variants must contain even more liver; for example, the liver content of "Stuttgarter Leberkäse" must be at least 5%. The type without liver is normally called Fleischkäse (meat cheese) if it is not made in Bavaria.
Methods of eating
Leberkäse is traditionally enjoyed a variety of ways, including:
- Most of the time it is served on a semmel (bread roll) while still hot and sometimes seasoned with mustard or pickled cucumbers. The result, generally called Leberkässemmel (or Leberkäsweckla in the Franconian parts of Germany), is a staple of Bavarian and Austrian fast food stalls, butcher shops and supermarkets.
- Cut into approximately finger-thick slices, usually served with süßem Senf (Bavarian sweet mustard) and soft pretzels or Kartoffelsalat (potato salad).
- Pan-fried ("abgebräunt" or "gebraten", browned), in which case it is commonly accompanied by a fried egg and German potato salad and sometimes spinach. This is a very common Biergarten dish.
- Cold, cut into very thin slices and used on a variety of sandwiches.
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What is Leberkase?, www.wisegeek.com