Droggeworst or Metworst

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Droggeworst, metworst or Dutch dried sausage is one of the most popular sausages we sell. The history of sausages goes back thousands of years to a time when survival depended on the ability to preserve food in times of plenty. Sausages made use of odd bits of meat stuffed in different types of casings. Curing and drying them preserved them for times of want. That sausages are found all over the world in almost every culture speaks to the important role this humble food has had throughout the history of civilization.

Each type of sausage tells us about the history and culture of its origin. For example, Dutch Braadworst is actually much more like the Afrikaner Boere Wors than the more well known German Bratwurst. The spices that flavour it: coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and allspice remind us of the Dutch spice trade in the East Indies. South Africa was an important outpost of that trade. Small wonder the nations share a similar sausage.

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Back to droggeworst/metworst… “Mett” was German/Dutch for minced pork without bacon. So they are also called pork rings. When we get a shipment here at the store, they come in soft and moist. We price them by weight and then move them into two special fridges we use to dry them. In the past, farmers would have hung these in the attic or some other cool drafty place to let them dry. They were handy to lunch on in the fields during the long days of planting and harvesting. In fact, I still recall one of our customers hanging our sausages where her sons could grab them quickly on their way out to the fields. Today, we have the benefit of refrigeration but each of these humble sausages contains the history of ancient technology that helped to keep our primeval fathers and mothers alive. We may no longer depend on them for survival but “Boy, do they still taste good!”

Hearty Foods …it’s that time of year!

IMG_1987We are all craving soups, stews and stamppot  (Dutch mashed potato dishes) at this time of year.  Check out these “cool” pictures of our corner of Ontario today. John shoveled our sign out of the snow at 7 am and it’s piling up again

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I walked next door to the Welland Farmers’ Market to see how the vendors were faring.

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The folks from Haist Farms were selling apples and hot cider…love this display!IMG_3231IMG_3232IMG_3233Fresh meaning to “frosted baked goods”!

It was much warmer inside, especially with the Annual Chili Cook-Off happening! IMG_3237IMG_3239 IMG_3254Our panel of judges included Deputy Mayor of Welland, Pat Chiocchio (who was taking no chances at staying warm!), Cindy Forster, local MPP, Malcolm Allen, our voice on Parliament Hill, and Counselor Bonnie Fokkens who represents the Welland Market at city hall. Dan Fortier’s first place finish not withstanding, Mr. Arnold Steve definitely earned bragging rights by snagging both 2nd and 3rd places with his mild and hot chili entries! IMG_3266IMG_3268 Welland Farmers’ Market has a long history.  Many of the vendors have been coming out for years. “The Flowerman” first came to the market 57 years ago to help his father sell vegetables. Now his daughter, like many market families, is continuing the tradition into the next generation.

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So the market is open!  I didn’t have time to check out the rest of the market in the other building…maybe next week.  And if you come to the market, don’t forget to drop by The European Pantry.  We are right next door…where you will find all the fixings for those hearty winter meals!