Organ Recital: The Song of the Liverwurst


Flying Pigs’ Liverwurst is a solid column of variety-meat goodness.

What the hell is liverwurst, anyway? Think of it as the German response to French pate.

Liverwurst is a coarse textured liver sausage which must be made with at least 30% pork liver. It’s most popular use is in sandwiches and snack canapes. The spreadable sausage originated in the city of Braunschweig, Germany, which is why liverwurst is sometimes known as braunschweiger. It is especially popular in Hungary, Finland, Serbia, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and the American Midwest. Flavorings often include some combination of black pepper, all spice, marjoram, thyme, and yellow mustard seed, plus the distinctive taste of the pork liver.

The version made by Oscar Mayer is somewhat slippery and insipid, but the version made by Flying Pigs Farms, shown above and below, is filled with fiber and sinew, and not too unctuous. Indeed, it is the cadillac of liverwursts, and very thorougly smoked. The Flying Pigs’ version contains hog jowl as well as liver. Remember: You must love liver to love liverwurst.

Turn page for more liverwurstian suggestions.


The liverwurst served at Kurt Gutbrunner’s wine bar, The Upholstery Store, is prodigal.

Where else–besides the Flying Pig stand in the farmers’ market–to find great liverwurst? Look for the Germans and Austrians. The Upholstery Store sets up on a wooden cutting board a fine and generous puck of the stuff, served with tubby cornichons and pickled cocktail onions, and plenty of good bread.

Another recommended spot is the West Village’s Lederhosen, where it’s called leberwurstsemmel.