German Butcher's Museum – Böblingen, Germany - Gastro Obscura

German Butcher's Museum

Böblingen, Germany

Sausages, schnitzel, and weiners. 


Since we humans settled down into agricultural communities and domesticated animals, about ten thousand years ago, we have been pickling vegetables, salting meats, and aging cheese. Butchering, in particular, seems an ancient art, with rituals and practices dating back to our oldest ancestors, the hunters. Historically speaking, stuffing meat into intestines came later, but eating animals has been an integral part of human development.

The Germans take that very seriously, and the German Butcher Museum shows a curious visitor all you could want to know about meats. The museum is Boblingen, in southern Germany about 200 km from Zurich, Switzerland.

The museum showcases the tools and methods of the craft of butchery, with life-size shops from the 1400s to the 1900s exemplify the development of meats. Examples of butchery in popular culture and art are also on display.

The museum devotes special attention to the importance of guilds in the development of butchery, with a sample guild hall and antiquated documents. Guilds were like unions but emphasized the skill of the craft and aided in professional development of an early modern sort.

True to their craft, the museum hosts an annual Schlachtfest, or Slaughter Party.

(This museum is not to be confused with the German Bratwurst Museum. Also dedicated to meat but more narrowly focused, the Bratwurst Museum is in Holzhausen in central Germany.)

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March 7, 2010

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