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Jan 21, 2003 06:31 PM


  • p

Those who've seen the current Saveur 100 issue may have noticed item #32, a German-style breakfast sausage called goetta that's popular in Cincinnati and unknown anywhere else in America. I love American regionalism and hadn't heard of this food, so I ordered some from the company that makes it, and *man* is it good! It comes in a log, which you can slice into patties and then skillet-fry. It's pork-based (a beef version is also available), with a light spiciness and -- this is the great part -- lots of oats mixed in with the ground meat.

The oats add a nicely toothsome heartiness that's unlike any sausage I've eaten before -- very, very nice. Has anyone else tried it? Any Cincinnati folks wanna chime in?

Link to the manufacturer provided below.

-- Paul


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  1. To my way of thinking, goetta is Cincinnati's very best regional food. It's very localized to the greater Cincinnati/N. Kentucky area. Several companies make it, but I like Glier's (the website mentioned) the best. Cincinnati is heavily Germanic, but people from other such areas (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee) seem to have no knowledge of it, although everyone I've served it to LOVES it. There's a lite version available, but IMHO that's like eating reduced calorie creme brulee! If you can find pinhead oats in your market, there's a recipe for homemade goetta on the box. If pinhead oats are a a regional item also, I'll try to get a brandname (I think it's Dorsels's) address, website if anyone wants to get that carried away. But I do second the recommendation...goetta is a wonderful treat!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sudiepav

      According to this website, "pinhead oats" = steel-cut oats.


    2. I never encountered "goetta" while living (and chowing) in Germany. Sounds like a rough equivalent of the Pennsylvania Dutch scrapple.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Sharuf

        It is exactly scrapple, except with oatmeal instead of cornmeal. Back when the only "oatmeal" I knew about was those rolled oats, I found the idea of goetta - AND haggis - to be disgusting...but now that I've discovered steel-cut oats (which I like to eat with butter, salt and pepper instead of milk and sugar), it seems to be something I'd really like.

        1. re: Will Owen

          Goetta or german grits as I was raised to know them as are delicious. I am now 49 and live in Florida. I lived in Indy for 29 years. We use to go to Oldenburg IN, a little German town to buy our grits. They use to make them only certain times of the year. Now they make them all year around. I am going home in two weeks and I guarantee I will make a trip to buy some. They are delicious and NO they are not like scrapple at all. I have bought that down here and that is horrible.

          1. re: gjsunshine

            Scrapple can be very good. I've only had homemade.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I only had it once. My ex saw it in the grocery store and bought it for me. I did not like the taste of it. I guess I was expecting the taste of my ole grits. I will have to try it again sometime, but not until I get my grits in 2 weeks!

        2. re: Sharuf

          I never saw goetta either when I lived in Germany. I deliberately kept an eye out for it, too, being from Cincinnati. German cuisine is pretty regional, though. It could easily be a dish that comes from a tiny town tucked away in the Alps. I couldn't figure out how Skyline was Greek until a three way (more or less) was served to us in Corfu.

        3. Goetta is usually served as a side for breakfast with eggs and potatoes. I'm from Cincinnati originally, and at local places, you almost always get a choice of bacon, sausage, or goetta for your meat. (We love our pork in Cincinnati aka Porkopolis!) I've only seen it served in slabs (2" x 6") and not in patties. I'm guessing that's because it's really easy to make yourself. I don't have the recipe handy, but could probably dig one up if anyone's interested.

          I'm not a huge fan of goetta, but I don't like chili on my spaghetti either, so what do I know?!!?


          1. hey glad you discovered goetta. i am a big breakfast fan and i love the stuff. as the other posters said, yes it is extremely limited to the cinci area. evryone there knows it. yet my wife is from dayton nearby and never heard of it, nor had her parents so go figure. i'm from cleveland and i'll tell you nooo-body up there has heard of it. i think it's a germanic heritage inspired local food and that immigration is older and mostly limited to southern & central ohio. i have and do spend time in the cinci area on occasion visiting inlaws of course and i always try to have some goetta and some cinci-style chili. dayton/cleveland have a lot of chowhoundy stuff too so i usually come home to new york after a visit a few pounds heavier.

            1. Am somewhat interested in seeing the response to a post on a 3.5 year-old thread...

              Just came from first trip to Cincinnatti. Went to Sunday breakfast at Echo, in Hyde Park and tried goetta. Not bad, IMO, but not something I'll go out of my way to eat again.

              I'd describe it best as "a cross between corned beef hash and haggis."

              1 Reply
              1. re: dude

                Goetta or german grits as I call them are wonderful. I was raised eating them but it was a treat to get them since they were only made parts of the year. I eat them for any meal I possibly can. I never get tired of them!