Some Like It Raw: Mettbroetchen in Düsseldorf

On my second day in Düsseldorf, my friends Hans and Marie took me to a series of Düsseldorf brauhauses. If you’re religious, you know that a brauhaus is where good beer drinkers go after they die. Beer hall/beer garden, flowing with home brew. No need to head to the bar as a waiter makes frequent rounds. Leave your glass uncovered when he comes by and get an automatic refill. The kicker? A glass at a German brauhaus only costs around 1 Euro. Paradise found.

We started the brauhaus tour at Uerige, home to the famous wooden statue of the Düsseldorf cartwheeling boy. I was slow to get hep to the automatic refill routine, so I ended up double-fisting immediately.

Age old proverb: Double-fist beer and you’ll soon need a good nosh. A peek at the Uerige menu revealed a selection of simple German snacks like Blutwurst (blood sausage), pickled eggs, Liverwurst, pickled cucumbers, and bread. It was Marie who suggested I try the Mettbroetchen, a regional specialty. Mettbroetchen is raw ground pork on a roll, served with or without raw diced onions.

It is here that I reveal my penchant for raw or rare flesh. What can I say? I love it. Always have. As my brother would say: cut off its horns, wipe its snout, and put it on a plate*. I’ve devoured steak tartare, raw oysters, shrimp, octopus, horse, and chicken liver. And, of course, my fascination with sushi was the earliest inkling of the Japanophilia that eventually led me to live in Osaka for two years. Some day, my tombstone will read: She wouldn’t smoke cigarettes or do drugs, but by cracky, did she love her some raw meat. So, yeah, I’ll have some Mettbroetchen. How do you say ‘bring it’ in German?

The rolls arrived, smeared with a pink, sheeny substance – identical to what I bring home cold and dead from the butcher. At that moment, it struck me that perhaps this was a bit gutsy; trichinosis and such. I’d only recently overcome a furious bout of seafood poisoning after all. But to travel is to discover – clueless and eager as a newborn, everything goes in the mouth.

“With salt and pepper,” instructed Marie, lashing her Mettbroetchen with spices. I followed suit, catching a whiff of pungent onions as I hunched over my brauhaus snack. I lifted my roll. I took a sip of briny beer to prepare my palate.

FACT: Raw ground pork on a roll is pretty freaking tasty. Savory and smooth with a slight smokiness; heightened by the crunch of tart onions. Perfect with dark beer.

FACT: Raw ground meat topping gets stuck in the teeth like nobody’s business.

I’m talking caveman rules here. Kill pig, put in mouth. Grunt. Chew. Grrr – back off or I get club. This my Mettbroetchen. Mine. And Mettbroetchen delicious.

*sorry, Vegans.

This post has been brought to you by WanderFood Wednesday.

This post has also been entered in the  Grantourismo-HomeAway Travel Writing Competition.

17 Replies to “Some Like It Raw: Mettbroetchen in Düsseldorf”

  1. Are you going to stay until the 29th? It’s Japan Day in Düsseldorf, with hanabi and lots of intercultural stuff (well, German-Japanese, mainly).
    In English:

    I’ve started reading your blog when I was in Japan myself, so reading that you’re in Germany now, about one hour from where I live, is SO cool. ^^°

    1. ieatmypigeon says: Reply

      Hi, ZA! I was only in Düsseldorf for a few days to visit friends. And I saw the signs for Japan Day while I was there; they made me really happy. My friend told me that Düsseldorf has a really large population of Japanese people. He took me to MoschMosch… not super authentic, but still a nice hit of Japan.

      Germany is a great place. Where were you in Japan? Do you miss it as much as I do?

      1. Once in a while, I love going to Düsseldorf (I’m from Cologne) and shop at the Japanese supermarket. It’s ridiculously expensive, but I just miss the food, all the familiar brands and everything wrapped in plastic.

        I was in Nagoya, I stayed for only one year, but yes, I miss it very much, even the humidity (usually I’m really not a summer person). Even all those incredibly annoying trucks with their songs and announcements. Or mistaking anko for chocolate. I miss Japan *so* much.

        1. ieatmypigeon says: Reply

          I never thought I’d get as Japan-sick as I do! Sometimes it all feels like a dream – the yaki imo vendors shouting as they drive through the streets (YAKI… IMO!), the red-faced sararimen, the smell of the Supa Tamade. But then I remember that I wrote it all down in this blog and if I feel like remembering the dread of kancho, all I have to do is go back and read… or maybe not.

          Yes, we’re lucky to miss the ridiculously humid Japanese summer. Even if it also means missing mugicha and matsuri. What a place, what a place.

          Also, I went to Cologne while I was visiting my friend the other week. We ended up at Früh brauhaus. So tell me, as a Cologne resident, which do you prefer… Alt or Kölsch bier? 😉

      2. Hahah … I don’t like beer at all. (Try explain that when you’re in Japan and beer is pretty much everything some people can think of when you tell them you’re from Germany.)
        I love Cologne (although I never really noticed how dirty German cities are until I returned from Japan), but I have to admit I can’t stand what’s considered local cuisine.

        Ohhh, mugicha *_* I still have some, luckily. Do you like matcha ice cream? I tried to make some myself, it actually worked and tasted just like the ice cream in Japan. It was hard to get matcha in Cologne, though.

        I’m really glad I took tons of pictures (about 2000-3000). It makes me … yeah, Japan-sick, that’s it, I like that expression. I get Japan-sick when I look at those pictures, but it keeps the memories from fading away too quickly. Sometimes I can’t believe I left Japan almost a year ago.

        I want to go back :/

        1. ieatmypigeon says: Reply

          Well, I’m American and I couldn’t care less about football… or baseball… or any sport, for that matter. And I don’t have a gun. Shattering stereotypes every day!
          I really like Cologne. I was mostly around the Altstadt – so beautiful. And I must confess that I love German food! I had a schnibbelkuchen mit lachs and it was amazing!!!!
          I haven’t seen matcha ice cream here, unfortunately. I’ll have to get my fill when I visit the States next month. And udon. And yakitori. And… sigh.

  2. Terence and I are huge fans of the raw and rare too! Huge thanks for entering this into our Grantourismo travel blogging competition. Good luck!

    1. ieatmypigeon says: Reply

      Thanks, Lara! It’s really nice to have the opportunity to participate in contests like yours.

  3. Ooooh my! I’m a complete over-cooker of all things meat, so ….. ah! But I’ll admit – your description actually made me want to give it a shot. If I ever go to Germany, I’ll have to order some Mettbroechten. Or, just find a pig and eat it.

    1. ieatmypigeon says: Reply

      I recommend it, Stephanie! It’s really surprisingly nice. If you’ve ever had Deviled Ham spread, it’s kind of like that in taste and consistency. Oddly enough. And the other night while I was making meatballs, I found myself looking at the raw meat and thinking: “Hmmm… bet this would be nice on some toast.”

  4. My grandparents are from Germany so it never failed that this raw meat dish was set out as a snack after the main dinner (ChristmasThanksgivingEaster). They would call it “tiger meat”. I was never that adventurous to try it. Sadly, after my cousin got a serious case of salmonella poisoning the “tiger meat” disappeared from the table.

  5. I’m sure these are delicious to anyone who likes raw meat 🙂

  6. ieatmypigeon says: Reply

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister, Moe! I was nervous about getting sick, too, but so far, so good. “Tiger meat” – that’s pretty cute.

    And Nancie; I swear! It’s really nice.

  7. I wish to devour raw meat! I called my mom once to inform her that I would probably die of Cueutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and she laughed at me and told me that’s only possible, but not very probable. I beg to differ, if the glorious delights that await me around the world bear any weight. ^_^

  8. Hehe, this made me laugh out loud… not least because my partner has a rather ruder version of the ‘cut off its horns…’ saying.

    I love my meat rare too, and adore sushi, but I must admit I’m not quite as adventurous as you… I’m not sure I could stomach some of the things you mention completely raw.

    Love your wording and descriptions, great reading! Thanks for entering the Grantourismo comp too, and good luck!

    1. ieatmypigeon says: Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! I’m fond of the ruder version of “cut off its horns…” but modified it for the post because I wasn’t sure how the contest masters would feel about it. Maybe next month I’ll get a little braver….

  9. We have a German foreign-exchange student at my school, and she said that this is really good and she eats it about twice a week for breakfast. I wouldn’t mind the raw meat, but I don’t know if I would like the fact that its cold.

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