Does anyone know what bockwurst is, exactly? I've had it twice in the past week and find it mild yet surprisingly compelling. Never heard of it before.
Wondering if it is a seasonal thing like bock beer, the beer traditionally produced this time of year from the tasty muck at the bottom of the lager vats.
Hmmm ... my impression is that in the Bay Area, bockwurst has been a "standard" sausage (as opposed to bratwurst). Maybe that's because I grew up with Saag's as the primary local maker and distributor of sausages (long before Aidell's etc.). At any rate, here's what the Saag's web site says:
"BOCKWURST The traditional Oktoberfest white sausage or Weisswurst composed of pork and veal mixed with milk and eggs. Smaller in size than the Swiss version, this tasty sausage contains flecks of chopped green onion and parsley. Fully cooked, unsmoked, in natural pork casing, nitrite free."
Apparently it was originally associated with fall (as you surmised), but as far as I know it's available year-round.
There are a lot of Swiss in the Northwest, and when I was a kid there was a local butcher who was famous among the Vancouver WA community for his bockwurst. He made tons of it before Easter, from veal animals which were milk-fed and had allegedly never tasted grass. Maybe this made the meat kosher for Lent - I dunno since my family was of the protestant persuasion.
Anyway, a couple of times during the bockwurst season Dad would get carried away and buy a big bagful and Mom would gently steam them, hoping none of them would split, and serve with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes.
They were truly and memorably wonderful, and had a light -- almost souffle-ish -- texture. They were pure veal, and I understand contained milk and parsley and other very mild seasonings. They were probably relatively expensive. I think size-wise they ran about 4 or 5 to the pound.
I don't think pork is a natural ingredient for bockwurst -- my guess is that it's a price-cheapening stretcher. I have not seen any pure veal bockwurst around here in many years -- just the supermarket imposters -- which are OK if you haven't tasted the real thing. For an honest white pork sausage, I buy bratwurst at Mollie Stone.