Tuesday, August 05, 2008
This past Saturday my family and I went to Newport-on-the-Levee to the world's only annual festival dedicated to Goetta. It was unbelievable to see such gastronomical travesties performed on a breakfast meat. It was even more incredible to see so many people stuffing their pie-hole with substances best left to the Waste Management Corporation.
For anyone who happen upon this blog and has no clue what Goetta is, I will explain.
In the post colonial days shortly after the name Fort Washington was voted down by City Council, Cincinnati was conquered and ruled by the Germans that had immigtrated to Southern Ohio.
In fact it was the German inhabitants that drove the Scots and Irish southward across the Ohio River where they went on to form Celtic dancing teams and invent Bluegrass music and Southern dialects.
The Euro-Slavic inhabitants were then routed northward to Dayton where they found jobs at the GM plant, formed unions, learned to go on strike and make pollution.
This left only the Germans in Zinzinnati to practice the skills they learned in the old Country, which was making beer and sausages.
Back in those days pretty much all that was available to eat was beer and a weinerwurst. Germans called their sausages Wurst and some of them were.
I always thought it odd that Germans referred to their country as Der Deutschland instead of Germany until I discovered the word German actually means "one who enjoys suspicious looking sausages".
Every culture brings something to this melting pot of civilization we call the United States and those Germans brought us sausages. Oh yeah. They brought the beer. In fact you bet your sweet lieder hosen they brought all manner of sausages to this area. Those rascals would stuff just about anything in a pig's bowel. cook it and serve it up with saurkraut, beer and a smile along with accordian music, slap dancing and much yodelling.
By now you may have guessed that Goetta is a type of German sausage. However it is not stuffed in a pig's bowel. Goetta is made from oatmeal, onion, seasoning, water and animal parts that you really don't want to know about. It is mixed up in a tub, formed, cooked slightly and packaged.
The oatmeal used in the Goetta making process is special type called pin-oats or as some say pin-head oats. Goetta is generally fried until brown on both sides and served with eggs, hashbrowns and coffee. The thing you need to know about pin head oats is that when frying them, they act much like popcorn kernals. They explode. So be careful.
Goetta is actually very tasty as long as you try not to think about what you are digesting. Goetta comes in the original piggy variety, hot Goetta, light Goetta and Beef Goetta. At present there is no Kosher Goetta.
The Goetta fest was the brain child of Gliers Meats, the #1 producer of Goetta in the Cincinnati area. Dan Glier is the owner of the company and head Goetta cheerleader. He has preached Goetta both near and far, even recently providing some for the White House. The Goetta Fest is sponsored by Glier's Meats to promote their oaty-porky product. And this bring me to some of the recipes I saw at the festival that left me somewhat queasy.
There were goetta burritos piled high with onions, red peppers and cheese, goetta corndogs, goetta burgers, goetta hotdogs, goetta-spagetta, goetta nachos with canned cheese-substance and sour cream, goetta chili, goetta omlets, goetta jambalaya, blackened goetta, chow mein goetta and people ate this stuff.
The festival featured not just Goetta as a food, but also Goetta the Game. There was a Goetta race on an incline track. You placed bets on which roll of Goetta would roll to the bottom of the incline the fastest. Ok, there were some Irish folks there that probably thought this game up. Guess what you won? Goetta! There was Goetta Ring Toss. Toss the Ring onto a 1 pound roll of Goetta and it was yours to have and to hold. If you had not won any Goetta and had the inclination to purchase your very own festival Goetta there was a Goetta vending machine. I have my doubts that Coke and Pepsi's vending division are going to lose much of a market share.
It was held on a very hot August day, but a good time was had by all. Being a curmudgeon, all I had was a lemonade.