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更新时间:2018-1-11 22:12:31 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

How sausage flavours the German language

When I awoke to grey skies and pouring rain on my wedding day, everyone had something to say about it. Poised to marry in a country garden north of Berlin, I was quickly surrounded by well-meaning Germans with plenty of aphorisms on hand.


The one that came up most often was the classic ‘Viel Regen bringt viel Segen’ or ‘lots of rain brings many blessings’, which I suspected was less a time-tested truth than a means of consoling an inconsolable bride. My father-in-law, however, only looked at me sadly, shaking his head and repeating ‘Schweinewetter, Schweinewetter’ (‘Pig weather’).

其中祝福语说的最多的是"多雨多福气"。当然,我知道这不过是对我这个不走运的新娘的安慰而已。而我的公公则一边摇头一边嘟哝着说," 猪天气!猪天气!"

Those concerned with how much we’d invested in the big day might have discussed how I’d spent ‘Schweinegeld’ (‘pig money’ or a lot of money). Still others, in an effort to get me to buck up, could have declared, ‘Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei’ (‘Everything has an end; only the sausage has two’).


Visitors to Germany love to joke about the country’s obsession with all things sausage, but Germans don't do anything to discourage them. In fact, their speech is littered with references to Wurst; full of idioms that speak to the timelessness and intrinsic value of their meat products.


As Bonn-based scholar and food writer Irina Dumitrescu detailed in her reprinted 2013 essay ‘Currywurst’, no matter the occasion, the German language will probably have a suitably sausage-y saying for it.

住在波恩(Bonn)的学者和食品作家伊利娜·杜米特雷斯库(Irina Dumitrescu)在她2013年的一篇有关香肠的文章中说,不管遇到什么情况,德语中都有跟香肠有关的话来形容。

“‘Das ist mir Wurscht’ or ‘it’s sausage to me’ is a way of expressing disinterest, perhaps because both ends look and taste the same. Counterintuitively, ‘es geht um die Wurst’ or ‘it’s about the sausage’ gives a sense of urgency: now it really counts. A woman who ‘spielt die beleidigte Leberwurst’ or ‘plays the insulted liverwurst’ is a prima donna in a huff; while someone who can barely steal sausage from a plate – ‘die Wurst vom Teller ziehen’ – is unimpressive despite his pretensions.”


Germans also employ common sayings about pigs and swine. As with Schweinwetter, the prefix ‘schwein or ‘sau’ (sow) can be used as an intensifier, and saying someone ‘hat Schwein’ (has a pig) means he had very good luck. I certainly could have used a spare lucky pig or ‘Glücksschwein’ on that wet wedding day.


Statistics from the Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (National Ministry of Food and Agriculture) show that the pig is far and away the most popular animal to eat in Germany, with each citizen of the Bundesrepublik consuming 52.1kg per year (in contrast, the Independent reports that poultry consumption in the UK is rising while sales of beef and pork are on the decline). It was all but inevitable that pork would become thoroughly baked into the German psyche, its savoury juices trickling down into everyday language. When and why this started, however, is a bit of a mystery.

德国食品和农业部(National Ministry of Food and Agriculture)的统计数字显示,德国人最喜欢吃的肉类就是猪肉,每个德国公民每年消费的猪肉达52.1公斤(独立报告显示,英国消费家禽肉类上升,而猪肉和牛肉消费下降)。显然,猪肉香肠已经成为德国人生活中不可分割的一部分,它浓郁的肉汁浸染入德国人的日常会话中。但这到底是从什么时候开始的,及其原因却仍然是个谜。

“The image of the butcher in Germany is always this fat guy who has two sausages he’s holding up… this rough, laughable figure,” said Hendrik Haase, who has devoted himself to quality, local meat, writing a book on the subject, Crafted Meat; opening Berlin butcher stall and eatery Kumpel & Keule; and founding The Butcher’s Manifesto, which he calls “a rotary club for butchers”.

"德国肉店老板的形象总是一个胖家伙,手里举着两根香肠……一个比较粗糙和可笑的形象。"亨德里克·哈斯(Hendrik Haase)说,他专注于地方高质量肉类问题,写了一本有关肉类的专著,题为《精雕细琢的肉》(Crafted Meat)。

Using humour to deal with a touchy subject isn’t unique to Germany, but it’s central to the way many Germans approach many aspects of their lives. Why should their carnivorous proclivities be any different?


“We’re trying to deal with the fact that somebody is killing something for us,” Haase added, “that some animal had to die so you [could] eat a sausage.”


Another theory has to do with the fact that owning a pig used to mean you had a certain amount of wealth and status. “My grandmother had two pigs a year, and she would make sausages, because you’d want to preserve that for as long as you could,” Haase said.


Ursula Heinzelmann, food scholar and author of Beyond Bratwurst: A History of Food in Germany, explains it as a difference between farming and roaming peoples: “If a culture keeps pigs, that’s a sign that they have settled down and are not nomadic anymore. Let’s say that’s the difference between Europe and [certain groups in] northern Africa or the [Middle] East.”

厄尔苏拉·黑泽尔曼(Ursula Heinzelmann)是一位食品学者,她写了一本有关德国食品历史的书,书中解释了农民和游牧群体的不同之处:"如果人们开始养猪,意味着他们已经安定下来,他们不再是游牧民族了。我们可以说这就是欧洲和北非或中东的区别。"

Eating sausages can also help form a sense of camaraderie. No German institution promotes this quite as well as the beer hall or Biergarten, where sausages are always on the menu. In Germany even today, food is often more about ritual and gathering, less about taste.


In their quest to be frugal, Germans often value price over flavour as well – and rarely do the two come together as successfully as they do in the humble Wurst. “We figured out a long time ago that [conserving] was best done by stuffing all those little bits and pieces, including the offal, into the casings,” Heinzelmann explained. It isn’t fancy, it isn’t refined, yet it defines what it is to be German – to want to save every last bit of the treasured pig.


What’s more, writes Neil MacGregor in his book Germany: Memories of a Nation, each part of Germany had its own sausage: “Wurst, like beer, defines Germany’s cities and regions, each different sausage with its own ingredients and particular traditions…. A Wurst map of Germany would be a mosaic of ungraspable complexity.”

一位叫尼尔·麦克格雷戈(Neil MacGregor)的作家写了一本书,题为《德国:一个国家的记忆》(Germany: Memories of a Nation),其中写到德国各地都有他们自己独特的香肠,"就像啤酒一样,香肠也区分着德国不同城市和地区。每个地区的香肠都有它们独特的食材和独特的传统作法……画一幅德国香肠地图,将呈现出一个极为复杂、难以理清的画面。"

It can’t be a coincidence, then, that the names of several meat products have endured. Wieners, Frankfurters and even the humble Hamburger all are simply names of German-speaking cities, and of people from those cities. One can almost imagine the smooth little sausages from Vienna (Wien) or Frankfurt, practically bursting their casings with pride at hailing from such illustrious places. Those eating them – perhaps laughing over Wurst-laden speech to signal their belonging to this multi-faceted yet unifying culture – might feel a similar burst of pride as they downed a beer and bit into a sausage named for their hometown.


For our part, we served no Wurst at our wedding, but we did have something even better; something I consider so German, it gave the whole ceremony, damp and muddy as it was, an almost medieval bent: a wild boar roasting on a spit, which guests were invited to sample at their leisure.


Perhaps it was the Glücksschwein we needed after all: Seven years later, no-one remembers the weather, but everyone is still talking about the food.