Käsekrainer – Pork sausage stuffed with cheese

Greetings from Vienna, Austria! Many food adventures are underway, but the latest and greatest was today’s käsekrainer.

A what? A käsekrainer. It’s a smoked sausage made of pork with about 10 to 20% cheese (like Emmentaler) melted in the center. They’re a local street food, and according to my hosts, very popular.  They were invented in Austria at the beginning of the 1980’s and are among the standard offer of hot dog stands here. It’s about 3 hands long (As I read this, I’m giggling.)

I attempted to purchase my 3 euro sandwich with a 50 euro note, to which the vendor scoffed and told me to find something smaller. I said she could hold it and I’d be right back. This was not agreeable; she didn’t want to hold my sandwich; she wanted to help the next customer in line. Ah, the joys of new cultures.

Cheeks flaming and feeling like a thief, I carried my bread-encased lunch across the street to a chocolate shop and loaded up on sweets to get change. (You’re welcome, family!) How does one dig out money while holding a giant sausage? I asked/thrust the meat into the cashier’s hand and smiled weakly.

Sidenote: why do European countries insist on 18 types of coins? What’s wrong with a few coins and mostly bills? I paid for an espresso and tip with nothing but 2 piles of coins today, thankful to lose some of the clanking weight.

I returned to the street vendor and triumphantly handed her a 10 euro note, and then slunk off around the corner to chow down. It’s damn good stuff, people! Salty, juicy and plump, shoved in a hard roll with ketchup and mustard. The cheese oozes out with each bite but isn’t drippy. I ate all the meat and only tossed a bit of the ketchup-mustard flooded bread.

The only down side is that I’ve been burping käsekrainer for going on 4 hours now, so maybe a Tums is in order.

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