My Berlin: the humble currywurst
Above/featured: Image by noxoss (Bernd Petrikat) on Pixabay.
In Germany’s capital city, Berlin is populated by countless venues for Döner, falafel, and currywurst. For the latter, I highlight two examples: Curry 61 (Hackescher Markt) and Curry 36 am Zoo (Zoologischer Garten), both of which are easily accessible with the city’s U- or S-Bahn.
Curry 61 – Hackescher Markt
(17 March 2011.)
Walking around Berlin’s Mitte district on a wet March afternoon, I found myself in the area around Hackescher Markt. I stepped briefly into the quiet Hackesche Höfe courtyard complex to pick up some postcards (at Schönhauser Design). I’d already subjected myself to the sights and scents emanating numerous cafés, bakeries, and snack shops. I hadn’t had lunch, and with food possibilities reaching my eyes, the grumbling belly meant time to feed.
The ubiquitous yet humble currywurst came to the rescue. I retraced my steps back towards Hackescher Markt, and I arrived at the street-side counter for Curry 61.
A short history of Berlin’s claim to currywurst’s origins goes something like this. In 1949, Herta Heuwer, who ran a snack counter in Berlin, mixed curry powder and Worcestershire sauce with ketchup, and when she served grilled pork sausage with the new sauce to her customers, they loved the new concoction. She patented the sauce as “Chillup” years later. Today, currywurst is ubiquitous, challenging even the Döner as the champion of street-food throughout Berlin.
A short conversation in German with the owner went something like this:
• Was hätten Sie gern? — Einmal mit (Darm) und Pommes rot; scharf, bitte.
• Woher kommen Sie? — Kanada, doch ich arbeite zurzeit in Chile.
• Was machen Sie hier in Berlin? — Urlaub, ein paar Freunden besucht.
• Wie sprechen Sie so gut Deutsch? — Schon 2. Jahre hier gewohnt, und viele Mass Bier getrunken.
Which roughly translates in English as:
• What would you like? — An order with (casing), and fries ‘red’; spicy, please.
• From where do you come? — Canada, but I work presently in Chile.
• What are you doing in Berlin? — Vacation, visiting friends.
• How did you come to speak German? — 2 years in the country, and many litres of beer.
The owner seemed to like my answer to his last question.
Although the owner asked if I really wanted the spicy (Scharf) version, I got a good dose of spice; my serving had a good sharp edge.
Curry 36 – Zoologischer Garten
(9 Dec 2014.)
In subsequent visits to Berlin, I’m passing through the train station near the city’s zoo more frequently. Next to the station at Hardenbergerpltaz is a satellite of Curry 36. While their key location is near Mehringdamm station, Curry 36’s location next to Zoologischer Garten station gets its fair share and flow of people streaming in and out of the station serving U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and regional trains.
I order a Doppel (double-order), both “ohne Darm” (no casing) and sliced into bite-sized pieces, accompanied by “Pommes rot-weiss” (red white) that’s a portion of fries slathered with ketchup and mayo and topped with curry powder.
Many have written about and swear by these currywurst joints in Berlin: Curry 36 and Konnopke’s Imbiss. I’ve also visited the German Currywurst Museum to learn about the history and evolution of the snack. Come to think of it, every time I’m in Berlin, I’ll seek out the currywurst, from one “Imbiss” stand to the next, in my perpetual search for the ultimate taste of the city.
I made all photos with a Canon EOS450D/Rebel XSi on 17 Mar 2011 and 9 Dec 2014. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-pr.
5 Responses to “My Berlin: the humble currywurst”
Currywurst mit pommes…. yum!
What always amazes me about the ubiquity (real word?) Of the german curry wurst is that it is such a staple that at any currywurst stand they have that specialized device that cuts the long sausage into nice wooden forkpick sized bits.
Visit : Stringgirl.blogspot.com for reviews of other euro streetfood. (Really, its safe for work)
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Eric, I’ve also seen that standard ‘slicer’ at every currywurst stand I’ve visited throughout Germany. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by!
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