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German butchers bake world's longest Leberkäse sausage amid vegan opposition

Members of a butchers' guild in the southern German city of Ulm have created the world's longest Leberkäse. But vegetarians and vegans questioned how many animals were killed to create the dish.

As hundreds of locals gathered along the banks of the River Donau on Sunday - many of them eager to snap a selfie with the meaty dish - Peter Hornung, a surveying technician from the city of Ulm confirmed on Sunday the cooked sausage was 161.5 meters (530 feet) long. Breaking the previous record of 100.2 meters, the new record was as long as the city's minster is high. It weighed in at 1.2 tons.

Leberkäse, which translates as "liver cheese" is a specialty from southern Germany. Also found in Austria and parts of Switzerland, the baked meatloaf is sometimes known as "Fleischkäse" or "meat cheese." Traditionally, the recipe is a combination of corned beef, pork, bacon and onions - often served in a hard bread roll. Some varieties contain small pieces of cheese or pickles, with many butchers creating their own secret recipes.

'Craftsmanship'

The Ulm-Alb-Donau Butchers Guild attempted the feat in the hope of wining a place in the Guiness World Book of Records. At 2.50 euro a go, proceeds from the 13,000 portions of Leberkäse will be donated to the minster.

The Leberkäse being measured

The record-breaking Leberkäse measured in at 161.5 meters long

The record-breaking dish was baked in a giant furnace built by marquee constructor Marcus Pscheidl (pictured above, right), in cooperation with the University of Ulm. Due to insufficient space on the Danau's riverbank, the huge contraption - which was created using 4.5 tons of sheet metal - was built to go around a corner.

"This is ambitious and has highy symbolic value. That's craftsmanship," praised the Lord Mayor of Ulm Gunter Czisch (CDU).

Vegetarian and vegan opposition

Just a few hundreds of meters away in Ulm city center, however, a group of vegans and vegetarians had gathered to oppose the record attempt.

"The pigs have to take the rap so that humans can exhaust technical possibilities," said Markus Barth who belongs to the vegetarian association "Laupheim-Schwendi."

Against a backdrop of live music, the group took a stance against the carnivorous record attempt on the riverside, serving up a buffet of vegan doner kebab, vegan bratwurst sausage and, of course, vegan Leberkäse made from soya and seitan.

Responding to the counter-event, Raimund Hörmann of the Ulm-Alb-Donau Butchers Guild (pictured top, left), said: "We used to be hunters and gatherers, we nourish ourselves with meat."

It wasn't immediately clear exactly how many animals were killed to create the world-record-breaking Leberkäse. Barth estimated approximately 65 pigs, while Hörmann claimed the figure was nearer 10 pigs and one cow.

"Maybe they can't count," Hörmann quipped. "Or they don't have any idea about meat."