When Wurst is Best

An impromptu celebration pairs Champagne with liverwurst and Vidalia onion. Everyone is happy.

I’ve been keeping a food diary since we brought Baby home. One of my favorite entries is the one describing the appetizers we had a couple weekends ago: “Champagne, liverwurst, and Vidalia onion.” No, don’t think that—it really was great. Here’s the story:

A couple of weeks ago we ran into Bill Telepan at the Greenmarket and asked what he was buying. “Liverwurst from Flying Pigs Farms.” I expressed some, ah, skepticism. “Just try it, man. It’s great.” We took his advice and brought some on a picnic the next day. The liverwurst was marvelous: smooth, slightly herby, with just enough livery iron tang to be interesting, more “pâté grandmére in a tube” than “Oscar Meyer.” Tara remembered eating liverwurst-and-onion sandwiches as a kid, so a week or two later we bought more and a sweet Vidalia onion to go with it.

Then, one recent Sunday evening, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend come over for dinner and baby time. It was a little chaotic when they arrived—me late making dinner, Tara coping with a fussy baby—so it took them almost five minutes to announce that they had gotten engaged. Hallelujah! I whipped out the bottle of fancy Champagne sitting in the fridge and poured a toast, then got back to cooking. I heard Tara saying something about needing snacks to go with the Champagne, and next thing I know she’d prepared a platter of, yes, sliced liverwurst and onion. You know, it was great again. The wine is a little acidic, which plays off the sharpness of the onion, and a little sweet, which reminded me of the pork, and bubbly enough to brighten up my mouth for the next bite. Not bad for Sunday night supper, or for an impromptu celebration.

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