Traditional boiled sausage and hand voting in Appenzell

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Every year on the last Sunday in April the canton of Appenzell has a very interesting event, voting-by-hand, locally called Landsgemeinde (open-air-assembly). Appenzell as well as Glarus are one of two places in Switzerland that still practice this old tradition. Hand voting was typical for rural areas and can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

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About 3000 eligible voters gather in the town square to decide on laws.

I didn’t know what to expect, it was incredible to see just how proud they seem to be able to participate. They are all dressed for the occasion, with many men carrying swords, which are handed within families from generation to generation.

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There are also food stands to satisfy hungry voters, selling cookies named chrempfli ( made from sugar, eggs and flour dough with hazelnut filling inside).

These cookies are imprinted in beautiful hand carved wooden cookie molds.

For meat lovers there are boiled Appenzell sausages, predominantly made of beef (siedwurst). You can choose one of these side dishes: cheese noodles and potato (chasmaggerone) or potato salad.

For my weekend lunch I prepared veal sausage with potato and vinaigrette.

Gentle boiling will also ensure the sausage is cooked all the way through.After boiling the sausage,  place it shortly on a grill to get an even nicer flavor and color.

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Boiled sausage with potato salad

Serves 4

  • 4 big (row) sausages, beef or veal
  • 450g potato, peeled and cut into bite size squares
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, finally chopped

 

Put potatoes in a pot and cover them with cold water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook until potatoes are soft.

Drain potatoes, put them in  large bowl and cool slightly.

Make dressing by mixing oil, vinegar, mustard and parsley in a small bowl. Gently toss potatoes with dressing.

Cover with cling film and cool in refrigerator.

You can make extra dressing to serve on a side.

Fill big pot halfway with water.

When water starts to boil add sausages. Lower the heat and simmer for about  10 minutes, until tender.

Drain.

Brush sausages with oil then grill until browned on both sides.

Serve sausage with cold potato salad sa well as some dressing on the side.

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