Residence: Hamburg, Germany
Date of Performance/Collection: April 19th, 2012
Primary Language: German
Other Language(s): English, French, Greek
German Curry Wurst Recipe:
Ketchup, 10 tablespoons
Water, 5 tablespoons
Salt, ½ teaspoon
Pepper, 1 teaspoon
Paprika Powder, 1/2 tablespoon
Cayenne Pepper, to taste
Chili Sauce, 1 1/4 tablespoons
Curry Powder, 1 tablespoons
Sugar, 1 tablespoon
First, cook your sausages on either a grill or pan if you don’t have a grill. Once the sausages are done cooking, set them aside. In a saucepan add ketchup, stir in 4-5 tablespoons of water and boil while stirring. Remove from the heat and season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chili, curry powder and a little sugar if necessary. Serve hot!
When I first traveled to Germany, I really wanted to try some local cuisine. My informant suggested that I try curry wurst, because the fast food dish is very popular and she thought I would like it. I had curry wurst for the first time at a small open air market in Berlin. There were all kinds of condiments you could add to the curry wurst such as mayonnaise and hot sauce. The curry wurst was also sold with potatoes, french fries, and white bread rolls which you would use to dip in the extra sauce. My informant told me that Berliners normally get white bread rolls with their curry wurst, and I wanted to do ‘the local thing’ so I got a bread roll to go with my snack. To me, doing things as they locals do them when I travel is my way of trying to get an understanding for the culture. I hoped that in trying many different types of German food, I could get an understanding of what kinds of foods Germans like. Are they the kind of culture that likes spicy, savory, or sweet foods? German food seems to be a good combination of all those food tastes, like the sweet taste of apple strudel, the savory flavor of potato dumplings, and the spicy kick of curry wurst. I ended up loving the food so much that I asked the informant’s mother for a curry wurst recipe that I could take back to America with me. I think the recipe is very close to what I had at the market in Berlin, but of course nothing can compare to the real thing.
The invention of curry wurst is attributed to Herta Heuwer, who created the sauce in 1949 when she obtained ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and curry powder from British soldiers in Berlin. Her recipe soon became very popular and her stand was selling as much as 10,000 servings per week. Heuwer patented the recipe as ‘Chillup’ in 1951 and started her own restaurant. Today curry wurst stands can be see all over the major cities of Germany, and they are a popular form of fast food for tourists and Germans.
My informant was born in 1992 Hamburg, Germany. She studied at USC from 2010-2011 before moving to Brussels, Belgium to study international policy planning for her undergraduate degree. She lives part time in Brussels, Belgium and part time in her hometown Hamburg, Germany.