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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #229

Culinary no-no's

On Father’s Day 2007, I wrote a blog about brats.

I think it’s wrong to put ketchup on the sausages.

Clever devil that I am, I called the blog a Culinary no-no.

My plans were to write a few related blogs over that summer and then pull the plug. After all, how many blogs can you come up with that say you shouldn’t salt this or use a heavy cream on that?

But then the blog evolved, and for reasons I can’t explain, became popular, very popular. Here’s that original blog with new material to follow:

Culinary no-no

By Kevin Fischer

Sunday, Jun 17 2007, 05:55 PM

A National Restaurant Association survey shows two out of five people (40%) go out to eat on Mother’s Day. On Father’s Day, it’s one out of four (25%).

Odds are Dad is outside grilling on his day. It is, after all, summer grilling season.

In Wisconsin, that means brats. And everybody has an opinion on how to cook them, and how to eat them.

My wife, for example, likes brats one of three ways:

1) With sauerkraut
2) With sautéed or grilled onions and green peppers
3) With chopped onions, mustard and……………ketchup.


She is not alone.

In a Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel article last June, local grillers were surveyed about how to cook and eat a brat. The ketchup as a condiment question was part of the debate.

Michael Zorn, assistant production coordinator of Johnsonville Brats in Sheboygan eats brats the way my wife does: "Personally, for me, the condiments I use are the ketchup, mustard and onion. It can't be this yellow mustard. It has to be dark mustard.”

The guy works at a place that specializes in brats, and he puts ketchup on his sausages.

Adam Siegel, executive chef at Bacchus and Lake Park Bistro said, when it comes to ketchup, “I'm not against it. I just like a more pungent flavor."

And finally, Dick Leinenkugel, vice president of marketing for Leinenkugel Brewing Co. said, "I'm so basic. I'm a ketchup guy. People look at me kind of weirdly."

I'll bet.

A brat is basically a pork sausage.

We’re talking pork ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Pork.

Would you put ketchup on a pork chop?

Would you open up the Heinz and pour it on a nice thick slice of pork tenderloin?

Would you go to Saz’s and tell them you want your ribs slathered with Hunts?

Would you dunk your bacon in the red stuff?

If you said yes to any of the above questions you need psychiatric help and a support group.

In an episode of “Happy Days,” that great philosopher Fonzie was talking about ketchup and ice cream. Keep them apart, and it got a Fonzie, "Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" But put them together, it was thumbs down.

The same is true, I believe, for ketchup on a brat.

Karl Ratzsch's dinner menu features Wurst Teller: Bratwurst and Knackwurst served with Sauerkraut, Sautéed Spinach, Whipped Potato, and Swabian Sauce. Their lunch menu has a Usingers Bratwurst, Hungarian or Knackwurst, served on a Hoagie with Sauerkraut.

You see any mention of ketchup?

It is sacrilege to put ketchup on a brat.

Onions, yes.

Sauerkraut, yes.

Mustard, yes.

Ketchup, no.

A big fat no.

I love my wife.

On this one, I’m sorry.

She’s crazy.

In April 2009, the MJS asked readers their favorite restaurants to eat brats. Kinda silly. This reader nailed the correct answer:

"only tourists eat brats at restaurants in WI. if you're a local you eat them off your grill, at others' cookouts or at the ballpark enough that you don't eat them when you're out."

I must note that another wrote:

"Going to a resturant(sic) and ordering a brat in Wisconsin could be considered grounds for a mental evaluation, unless said person is visiting from California. Wisconsinites know brats are consumed at events or made at home? If I heard someone order a brat in a resturant (sic) I'd ask what State they were from.

Just had to throw this one in while I'm here. If anyone witnesses someone putting ketchup on a brat call 911! That person should be taken into custody for questioning."




Grilling: “
There's more to a cookout than just throwing burgers and steaks on the grill.”

While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to experiment.


Obama to the rescue?

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