Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Finnish and German sausage

Quite often I hear Finns say that German sausage is way better than Finnish sausage. They usually elaborate on this statement in a way (along the lines of "Finnish sausage is made of flour, but German sausage has a lot of meat in it") that makes it very clear that they are comparing the cheapest and the least meaty Finnish sausage with unidentified meaty German one. Often they even name the Finnish point of comparison with its colloquial name "HK Bleu" (HK Sininen lenkki, 43% meat).

The same phenomenon exists with other goods and services, but the sausage example is the most common, so I'll stick with that.

Now, when I buy a sausage in Germany it is usually worse than the ones I buy in Finland. It's hard for me to be sure that German sausages are objectively worse than Finnish ones, even as far as my own taste is concerned, because the familiarity creates a rather strong bias: in Finland I know which kinds of sausage I like the best, and I buy them; in Germany I have to select from a large number of sausages whose list of ingredients looks good, and this selection is rarely optimal.

Which makes me wonder: why doesn't this bias work for those other people? I mean, if they dislike HK Bleu, why haven't they moved on?

The ideas that come to mind are:

1. They are saying this in bad faith for some reason (why?), and are in fact well aware that they are comparing a near-lowest-quality Finnish sausage with average and above-average German sausage,

2. They are really comparing Finland's near-worst with Germany's near-worst and might actually be right.

3. They are for some reason (how?) unaware that there are lots of Finnish sausages with meat content of over 70%.

Any ideas?

P.S. I am being unfair to HK Bleu. It is the worst sausage I tasted and didn't seem to have any meat at all, but the same manufacturer (HK) also produced a light version with only 5% of meat. I didn't really need to know that, but I decided to share the info with my readers anyway. They also produce delicious stuff that's 80% meat.


Pekka said...

4) They are just old farts. When the Internet was young and Fin(n)land was recently joined EU, it was possible to get pretty good Bratwursten (Bratwursts?) and Frankwursten at a price you could not get even HK bleu.

5) They happen to like German sausages. A friend recently complained that all the sausages in Lidl are digustingly fatty. For me, that is the point.

Anonymous said...

Kommentoin nyt suomeksi...

En tiedä mitään saksalaisista makkaroista, mutta venäläiset ja ukrainalaiset makkarat ovat selkeästi parempia kuin suomalaiset/Suomessa myytävät. Tosin, käytän usein "makkaraa" yleiskäsitteenä viittaamaan kaikkiin pötköihin ja leikkeisiin. Tässä yhteydessä tarkoitan nimenomaan meetwursteja ja vastaavankaltaisia tuotteita.

Suomesta saa kyllä joitain meetwursteja, jotka ovat yhtä hyviä kuin venäläiset/ukrainalaiset - esimerkiksi Wotkinsilla on pari sellaista - mutta se on aika harvinaista. Useimmat Suomessa myytävät ovat paksuja pötköjä, jolloin siivuista tulee tietysti kookkaita ja löysiä. Myös maku on jotenkin tympeämpi.

Sen sijaan venäläiset & ukrainalaiset lajitoverinsa ovat kapoisia, jämäköitä ja herkullisia. <3 Kuinka ikävöinkään niitä...

Tämän huomaa muuten helposti juuri siitä, että itänaapurissa voin aika helposti valita tuntemattomistakin meetwursteista jonkun ja pitää siitä, kun taas Suomessa täytyy oikein tietää, mitkä ne muutamat hyvät ovat.

Anonymous said...

One word (ok, not just a "word", I'm a linguist too):


jseppane said...

Just wondering how HK blöö would be such a bad choice if everybody knows that year after year and everybody dislikes it.

Used to leipämakkara (breadsausage?), rather fatty and salty but easy to put on bread, easy to transport and edible after hot day or couple, stays on bread, fast to eat, gives salt and calories and fills stomach so no need to eat again just after one fart.


Ironmistress said...

Ever tasted falukorv?

HK Bleu is a culinary experience compared to falukorv.

Kriisi said...

HK Blöö is a tasty blob of fat and flour. Why complicate matters with complaining about it being a bad sausage. It's a delicious, salty cylinder of... stuff. Neither is kinkkupasteija good ham, but boy is it yummy to suck it right out of the tube.

My verdict: Elitism. Grow out of it and enjoy life more.

In my experience many people regard foreign sausages somehow better than the Finnish because of texture and seasoning issues. If you are adventurous, of course many new tastes are "better". But it says nothing about quality in itself. Meat percentage is also misleading, as it's only a part of the taste experience as indeed other ingredients and texture sensation play a big, often bigger part of it all.

Vera said...

Ironmistress: no, haven't tasted falukorv. Should I? :)

Kriisi: no, it's certainly not delicious, but it's a matter of taste.

As for the different texture: yes, that's a point, although the textures vary quite a lot in both countries.

enrikh said...

routsissa i have the heard EXACTLY the same comparasion between swedish and finish makkara (sweden no meet etc)
funny thing !