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Meat the North Shore’s award-winning sausage maker
For sausage lovers, Christmas has come early. The fourth annual Christmas Market at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre plaza runs until Dec. 24 and here you’ll find more than 50 booths with authentic German hand-crafted goods and speciality food makers, including North Vancouver’s legendary Black Forest Meats and Sausage Ltd.
The company was started by Jurgen Burkhardt, a German-born master sausage maker who hails from Black Forest, where he made his first sausages (rabbit and duck) when he was just 11.
Burkhardt moved to Canada in the mid-1980s and since then he and his team have become internationally renowned for their sausage and meat products.
If you haven’t tried any products made by Black Forest — which are available from his factory store in North Vancouver, his Black Forest Delicatessen at Park Royal South, Whole Foods, Choices and high-end hotels — you should put some items on your Christmas list.
But don’t just take our word for it. Burkhardt recently placed first in the Great Canadian Sausage Making Competition. Out of eight entries he took home three golds, three silver and two bronze medals.
He uses only certified organic and all-natural ingredients and makes his sausages according to European purity laws, meaning they only contain meat, spices and water.
“I want to be different,” he says of adhering to the old-world standards of sausage-making.
This year, along with his award-winning bratwurst, he’s bringing a new item to the Christmas market — pork knuckles, a tasty, traditional taste from Germany.
If you decide to visit Burckardt’s factory in North Van (312-316 Harbour Ave., next to Canadian Tire on Main Street) make sure to go around lunchtime so you can try one of the delicious, reasonably priced sandwiches prepared by Kurt Schillinger, the executive chef of Black Forest’s catering division. Can’t decide what to order? A go-to favourite is the warm schnitzel sandwich. “You can’t beat this man’s schnitzel,” a customer recently told us.
One of the secrets to the sandwich, explains, Schillinger, is the fact that they use pickles imported from Germany. “They’re not as vinegary.”
Along with gifts and specialty treats, the Christmas Market also offers a variety of holiday entertainment, including the Dal Richards Orchestra. The market runs until Dec. 24, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. Admission: Adults $6 (or $3 from Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.); youth $3 (7-12); and children free. For more information visit www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com.