What Is Goetta?

If you live in the Cincinnati area, you've most likely heard of goetta, and have most likely tried it. If not, you've probably never even heard of it.

Goetta is one of those regional foods that, unlike lobster rolls and deep-dish pizza, has actually stayed regional, and that's most likely because it's a little daunting. Goetta is a breakfast sausage that's made of either pork or pork and beef, along with oats and spices including bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and onion. It's similar to scrapple, but made with oats instead of scrapple's corn.

Goetta is generally sold as a round loaf, and it's usually cut into squares or rounds and pan-fried in oil. It can be served with just about any condiment, ranging from apple butter to ketchup, mustard, grape jelly, honey, or pancake syrup, but many prefer to eat it plain. Recently, however, more and more people are thinking outside the box with goetta, and using it in everything from burgers to pizza. There are even "Goettafests" to celebrate this little-known meat, which is technically German-influenced but not found anywhere in Germany.

The largest producer of goetta is Glier's Goetta, which produces more than 1 million pounds of the stuff annually, with just about all of it being consumed in Cincinnati. Now that's a lot of goetta!