Alas…poor currywurst…

The latest victim of the dioxin scandal is Germany’s favourite snack of all time.  Readers, a moment’s silence please as we mourn the passing of the currywurst.

As Germans abandon their normal diet of ham, bacon, pork, chicken and eggs for fear of ending up looking like Viktor Yushchenko, the sausage stands lie deserted on our street corners.

The currywurst has to be one of Germany’s oddest inventions. For the uninitiated, I should point out that it bears almost but not entirely no resemblence to curry. It is a sausage, usually cut into slices, covered in a steaming hot ketchup sauce and sprinkled with curry powder. It is served either with chips or with a bread roll.


The currywurst is thought to have been invented in Berlin shortly after the war when the British army imported ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and curry powder. The sausage seller who is credited with creating the first currywurst is Herta Heuwer, on September 4th 1949. The site of her snack bar is marked to this day with a plaque.  I’m surprised the invention-date has not yet been declared a national holiday.

Herta Heuwer

But now that German pork has become contaminated with dioxin, maybe we need to erect a memorial to mark the passing of the currywurst itself. After all, it is already something of a museum-piece…  as well as a rock-legend…




Filed under About Germany, food, Life in Germany, World War 2

7 responses to “Alas…poor currywurst…

  1. I had two kinds of dioxin for breakfast this morning. Delicious.

  2. They can’t do away with currywurst! Currywurst is my standard ‘I can’t be bother cooking so I will go to the local currywurst diner’ meal.

  3. >Heavy sigh<
    Another German food panic. Gammelfleisch, BSE, Dioxin – am I forgetting anything? There's the usual flap with politicians making empty promises, consumers holding off buying the stuff for a few weeks at most, then it blows over and it's back to normal. It's like when a piece of bread falls onto the kitchen floor. Pick it up, blow it off, set it on the counter for five minutes, suddenly it's OK to eat again.

  4. Neil_Yes_A_Different_One

    I actually went out for a Currywurst yesterday (scharf as opposed to normal), not something I often do but something about your article perhaps subconciously made me do it! Shop was as full as ever so I don’t think the ‘scare’ has had much effect here.

  5. NNNnnnooooo! I’ve not tried one yet. I didn’t have time to get one the last (and only) time I have been to Germany.

  6. Currywurst is always the first and the last thing I eat when I visit Germany!!! My favorite thing about Currywurst is that in Germany you can now buy currywurst trays made from porcelain that look exactly like the paper tray. I recently added about 15 currywursts to the annual consumption of 800 million in Germany which inspired (and qualified) me to write about Germany’s wurst case scenario … 🙂

  7. As your article mentions, Currywurst was invented by Herta Heuwer in Berlin in 1949 as an affordable but filling meal for the people of Berlin at a time when food was in short supply.

    When you order your Currywurst you can ask for it skin on “Currywurst mit Darm” or without skin “Currywurst ohne Darm”. Sausage casings were in short supply in the Soviet-controlled side of the city. If you grew up in East Berlin, you like sausage without skin; if you grew up in West Berlin, you probably prefer sausage with skin.

    I’m not from Berlin, I prefer Currywurst without skin and in my opinion the best place to get it is from Fritz & Co (a Currywurst stall) on Wittenberg Platz in the Schöneberg area of Berlin.

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