With Huntsville’s connection to German culture, starting with an influx of German rocket scientists in the 1950s, dishes like bratwurst are no stranger to us. But have you ever wondered what exactly was in a bratwurst? To better prepare ourselves for the Brats and Brews – and a Little Blues event coming up this Saturday, June 25th, I recently sat down with Chef Ray Maranda of Bubba’s Silver Spoon Catering to get the skinny on this delicious sausage.

What exactly is in a bratwurst?

“Bratwurst are a traditional german sausage made from ground pork, beef, or sometimes veal- really any ground meat- seasoned in a variety of spices. They can range from slightly sweet to spicy hot. Often they are partially boiled in beer to get a really great flavor.”

How are they usually served?

“They’re generally served on a bun and are great with ketchup, mustard, and relish. We’re going to pair the brats at this event with picnic-y foods like oil and vinegar slaw, baked beans, and potato chips.”

Why are brats so popular, other than the fact that they are delicious?

“Within the past 10 years or so, people have definitely gotten more into food. The rise of social sites, like Pinterest for example, has made food trendy.”

What’s the secret to the best brat?

“Definitely the manner of cooking. You want to marinate it well and not overcook it!”

What can people expect at the Brats and Brews event?

“It will be fairly casual- not like a formal tasting. We’ll have the bar open, live music playing, and great food for purchase. We’ll have a bratwurst that is in the middle between sweet and hot, boiled in Straight to Ale’s Monkeynaut. We’ll also have a grilled cheeseburger with onion straws and a Yellowhammer Rebellion Red Lager BBQ sauce, as well as a chicken and avocado sandwich on ciabatta bread with a school house shot of basil aioli.”

So now we know! To get a more “up close and personal” insight into these delicious sausages, make sure to come by the Brats and Brews- and a Little Blues event this Saturday, June 25th, in the Stone Event Center from 3-8 p.m. See you there!

– Katie Wright is a Huntsville blogger and brat fan