Bratwurst Capital of the World

In 1970, Sheboygan battled Bucyrus, Ohio, for the title of Bratwurst Capital of the World. After a grueling duel, Judge John Bolgert’s landmark decision noted, “...the citizens of Sheboygan through their sausage makers, bakers and backyard chefs have established their right to the herein litigated title not only by virtue of claim but also by virtue of performance. It is the judgment of this court that Sheboygan is and of right ought to be Bratwurst Capital of the World.” ….and so it is.

What is a bratwurst?
A bratwurst (or “brat”) is a sausage usually composed of veal, pork, or beef.

The name is derived from Old High German Brätwurst, from brät-, which is finely chopped meat, and Wurst, or sausage. So how did Sheboygan’s sausage makers, bakers, and backyard chefs earn the prestigious title? Well first, you should know that Sheboyganites fry brats on a grill. They absolutely do not grill brats, they fry them…period. To “fry” can mean to cook, not necessarily in oil or fat, but over direct heat. The sausages are roasted in an oven or “fried” over a charcoal fire until browned and served to family and friends. The brat is a social food in Wisconsin. We have brat frys on weekends like folks have BBQs in the south. It is part of a deeply-held tradition.

After frying brats to perfection, they are dressed on a round Sheboygan hard roll (make it a double brat by adding one more to the mix – there’s always room), sprinkled with onion, and topped with brown mustard! And if you are feeling fancy, a few pickle slices to top it off. In the backyard or at a restaurant, that is just simply how it is done in Sheboygan.