No one argues the best sausage in Zurich is at Stern grill operating since 1963, but when I was a kid, I used to have mine at Jelmoli where it was once one of the best but now has vanished.
The sausage is called Cervelas in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Cervelat in the German-speaking part, and servelat in the Italian-speaking part. The terms ultimately derive from cerebrum, the Latin word for brain, which was used in early recipes. The term “Cervelat” is the oldest of the three.
It was first recorded in 1552 by Rabelais, and is derived from zervelada, a Milanese dialect word meaning a “large, short sausage filled with meat and pork brains.” Modern recipes do not include brains, and arose towards the end of the 19th century in Basel, as a reworking of the traditional recipe.
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