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Currywurst

Currywurst is a street food or fast food dish of German origin consisting of steamed, then fried pork sausage (German: Bratwurst) typically cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup, a sauce based on spiced ketchup or tomato paste, itself topped with curry powder, or a ready-made ketchup seasoned with curry and other spices. The dish is often served with French fries.

Currywurst mit Pommes
Author:
Cuisine: German
Recipe type: Street Food
Ingredients
  • 500 g bratwurst
  • oil for frying
  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • ½½ - 1 tablespoon extra mild curry powder to sprinkle on top before serving
  • thick-cut potato chips (fries), to serve
Instructions
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet and cook sausages until brown outside and heated through, turning periodically.
  2. Pour ketchup into a small saucepan and add sugar, pepper, onion powder, paprika and curry.
  3. Remove sausages from heat once fully cooked and slice into 2 cm thick pieces.
  4. Place on a plate and spoon sauce over top. Add thick cut chips on the side
  5. Garnish currywurst sauce with additional curry powder.

Konnopke's Imbiss (Fast Food Stand) in Berlin. It was the first Imbiss to sell currywurst in East-Berlin in 1960.

Konnopke’s Imbiss (Fast Food Stand) in Berlin. It was the first Imbiss to sell currywurst in East-Berlin in 1960.

History of Currywurst

The invention of currywurst is attributed to Herta Heuwer in Berlin in 1949, after she obtained ketchup (or possibly Worcestershire sauce) and curry powder from British soldiers in Germany. She mixed these ingredients with other spices and poured it over grilled pork sausage. Heuwer started selling the cheap but filling snack at a street stand in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, where it became popular with construction workers rebuilding the devastated city. She patented her sauce under the name “Chillup” in 1951. At its height the stand was selling 10,000 servings per week. She later opened a small restaurant which operated until 1974. On June 30, 2013, Heuwer’s 100th birthday was celebrated with a Google Doodle.

Currywurst Today

Today, currywurst is often sold as a take-out/take-away food, Schnellimbisse (snacks), at diners or “greasy spoons,” on children’s menus in restaurants, or as a street food and usually served with french fries or bread rolls (Brötchen). It is popular all over Germany but especially in the metropolitan areas of Berlin, Hamburg and the Ruhr Area. Considerable variation, both in the type of sausage used and the ingredients of the sauce, occurs between these areas. Common variations include the addition of paprika or chopped onions. Often currywurst is sold in food booths, sometimes using a special machine to slice it into pieces, and served on a paper plate with a little wooden or plastic fork, mostly a Currywurst fork. It is also sold as a supermarket-shelf product to prepare at home, such as Meica CurryKing.

The Deutsches Currywurst Museum estimates that 800 million currywursts are eaten every year in Germany, with 70 million in Berlin alone. The Volkswagen plant at Wolfsburg runs its own butchery producing 3.5 million currywursts per year, serving 1.6m to Volkswagen employees.

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