Tag Archives: currywurst

At last! German snacks take a leap forward into the 1980s

One of the things which all British expats in Germany have yearned for over the years has been flavoured crisps. (For Americans reading this, crisps are what you call chips. Confusingly what we call chips is what you call French fries… but I digress….)

Crisps are a sort of soul food for the Brits. We take them on picnics, we order them in the pub with our beer, we nibble on them in front of the TV and hand them out to our children to keep them going until lunchtime. And British crisps come in all kinds of fabulous flavours. Salt and vinegar, cheese and onion, Worcestershire sauce (Americans – that’s pronounced Wuster), prawn cocktail, smokey bacon….

When I first arrived in Germany the crisp scene was dismal. There were two sorts of crisps. Plain or paprika. For about the first fifteen years of living here, nothing much changed. Oh, there were launches of other snack types… Pringles and Nachos and things… but real crisps with added flavours still remained a rarity – and any attempt at copying a gutsy taste like salt and vinegar had to be watered down for the German palate (balsemic vinegar and sea salt… it just doesn’t come close!).

So imagine my surprised and delight when I discovered the Germans starting to experiment with creating their VERY OWN crisp culture. A big round of applause ladies and gentlemen, for the first all-German flavoured crisp!

Currywurst crisps

Currywurst crisps! Soul food for Germans?

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Filed under About Germany, food, Life in Germany

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.

Currywurst

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…

 

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