"I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage." -- Erma Bombeck
Several weeks ago, I had the interesting experience of completing item number nine on the Kentucky Bucket List, a book consisting of 100 experiences written by Michael Crisp.
This experience was to taste goetta sausage.
This was an adventure I completed while up in northern Kentucky after visiting the Newport on the Levee. After completing that experience, I met up with a former camp counselor of mine named Ian, and his wife, Nicole.
As a young kid and into my teen years, I attended a camp in Clarksville, Ohio, called Camp Joy. This is where an arthritis camp I attended was hosted each summer. Ian was a counselor there, as well as his brother. Nicole had her own Camp Joy experience, but that's another story.
We remained in touch through the years as Facebook friends, and when he and his wife had seen me traveling up to northern Kentucky to visit on other bucket list tasks. They asked me to breakfast to catch up if I found my way up there again. Once I was back up near the river, our brunch was a go! We met up at Taste of Belgium in Crestview Hills, where we ordered morning mimosas and delicious chicken and waffles.
However, I had a side of goetta sausage on my order.
This was another task on the bucket list I did not expect to complete when I did. After leaving my friends Nicki and Street and our experience on the levee, I thought about my plans to meet for breakfast. When I realized there was goetta on the menu, I knew I was ready to complete another "experience."
According to Queen City Sausage, a regional sausage company, "geotta" is "Cincinnati's very own German breakfast sausage."
A German breakfast sausage made with pork, beef, steel-cut oats, onions, and spices--goetta is unique to Cincinnati and NKY. The website states that goetta was brought to Cincinnati by German immigrants back in 1880's from Germany's Hannover region.
In an extensive timeline of history, Queen City Sausage stated, throughout the 19th century, and for more than 100 years, Cincinnati's historic West End was known as "Porkopolis" and was the meat capital of the US at this time. Butcher shops and slaughter houses dominated Cincinnati's West End. Cattle and pigs were herded in the streets daily, consumed locally and shipped across the country to a very hungry and emerging America.
Near the 1930s the founder and president of Queen City Sausage, Elmer Hensler, was born in Cincinnati's West End as one of nine kids. Elmer began in the meat business at 12-years-old, working in the neighborhood slaughter houses before school. In adulthood, Hensler joined forces with Alois Stadler, also known as the "spice man" of Cincinnati. The third member of the Queen City Sausage founding members was master sausage maker, George Nagel.
The company is still in operation and continues to produce many different types of sausage and spices which they produce in house. According to their website, Elmer, at 89 continues to arrive at work daily.
No offense to Hensley and the gang -- but goetta isn't really my thing. The taste was great, but the texture was where my taste buds were not a fan. Not surprisingly, my friends (who live in the Cincinnati area) were fans of the sausage.
I wouldn't order it for myself, but I can see the appeal for those who like it. No breakfast protein shaming here. This was another simple and fun item to complete, and I love to eat! Looking forward to the next food-related item as well as next bucket list completion!
Editor's note: This column is an ongoing series inspired by the Kentucky Bucket List book written by Michael Crisp. You can purchase the book online at Amazon.