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Käsekrainer: whats in a name?

kaesekrainer

The standard late night snack after a few drinks in Vienna has to be a Käsekrainer at one of the many würstelständer in the city. Although the Käserkrainer is particularly loved by the Viennese, it has broader historical connections. This is because it was actually ‘invented’ by two butchers from Upper Austria in the 1960s, who originally called in Kasermandl in reference to the cheese but also to some local Tirolean musicians with that name who perfectly captured the gritty, rustic nature of the sausage.

Over time, this name somehow morphed into Käsekrainer, in a nod to Krainer sausage (or kranjska klobasa), which is sausage without cheese that derives its name from the Krain region in Slovenia. How exactly the Käsekrainer came to be associated with sausage from Slovenia is unclear, but it did lead to some uproar in 2012 when Slovenia petitioned the EU to protect the name kranjska klobasa…and thus presumably also its German translation, Käsekrainer. This obviously didn’t sit well with the Austrians, who were not about to rename their beloved sausage. Instead, Austria and Slovenia were able to strike a deal in which only the Slovenian name was granted a protected geographical indication, and the German name could continue to be used as before! (C.G)