The Sausage Equator and Other Food Borders

There are many ways to divide countries – lines
can be drawn along sporting teams, religion, politics, but the most delicious way, is of
course food and drink. So what’s a sausage equator? Where is it, and what does it divide? Most borders on earth are formed by natural
barriers, ethnography, or historical events. But there are deep cultural differences that
create divisions even within countries – in Germany, that division is the white sausage
equator. We’ll get to the sausages in a moment, but
make sure you stick around to the end of the video for Australia’s own culinary boundaries. Germany is a prime example of a nation divided
by food. The prevalence of wheat beer and barley beer
separates north and south. This fruit is an Apfel – except in the north
where it’s colloquially known as an Appel. Germany even has a clear geographical divide
in its food supermarkets. Since the 1960’s, the supermarket Aldi has
been split into 2 entities, establishing the Aldi equator – with Aldi Nord operating to
the north, and Aldi Süd in the south. But Germany’s best example of cultural food
division comes in the form of the Weißwurstäquator – or white sausage equator. The sausage equator divides north and south
Germany, with specific reference to the preferred kind of white sausage in the south of Germany. In the south, predominantly in Bavaria – white
sausages made from veal and pork are wildly popular over the perhaps better-known bratwurst
or frankfurter. The exact course of the equator is debated
– some people define it along the river Main, others along the river Danube and others
simply within a 100km radius of Munich. Wherever the exact line, though – the Weißwurstäquator
is a serious concept – so serious as to have made it into the definitive German dictionary,
the Duden. What makes the Weißwurstäquator a meatier
topic, is that it isn’t just about preferences of sausage. Germany has a rich history of different states
that variously clashed and united – and the cultural, language, and food differences
between different states, and especially between north and south, are still prevalent today. The white sausage equator and is an analogue
for these differences and is subjectively used by those on either side of the border
to highlight them. Germany is of course not alone in being divided
by food. Neighbouring Switzerland has its own food
equator, the hash-potato trench – Röstigraben. This line separates the culturally Swiss-German
portion of the country, where Rösti or hash-potato, is a staple, from the French-speaking and
Italian parts of the country. While researching this video I found numerous
other examples of different countries with food equators, let me know in the comments
what culinary borders your country has. In Australia we have the unglamorous Red Rooster
line – which neatly separates Sydney and Western Sydney by way of mapping the outlets
of a fast-food chain called Red Rooster. There’s also a debate over how to name this
delicious fried potato snack, depending on which part of the country you’re in. Cultural and food borders are not set in stone
– they are often fluid and can be totally subjective. But they’re a good reminder of the historical
context in which culture develops, and the way in which people adapt to different environments. Make sure you subscribe to get notified about
my next video, and check out my other videos here. Thanks for watching.

3 thoughts on “The Sausage Equator and Other Food Borders

  1. I demand that this be implemented in every atlas immediately! In France, I would say our food equateur is Olive oil vs Butter. In terms of pronunciation, there is also a big argument of "Pain au Chocolat" vs "Chocolatine".

    Another great video man. Deserve way more subs.

    P.S: Your German pronunciation is pretty good man!

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