Berlin's best Currywurst

The ubiquitous Currywurst with its sweet ketchup, dusting of curry powder and classic German sausage, is synonymous with Berlin and food. Perhaps not a 'refined' delicacy, but this little wurst stands proud within the Berlin food scene and definitely fulfills its purpose as good street-food.

A product of a dark and desperate time and a devastated city, where the resources were low but perseverance high, when a lady named Herta Heuwer obtained ketchup and curry powder from some neighbourly British troops in West Berlin, (they received alcohol in return, I say no more!), and combined it with what she had to hand, the traditional German sausage.

The interesting concoction was immediately successful and remains very much a firm favourite of Berliners today.

There are thousands of Currywurst vendors to choose from today in Berlin, and of course the quality can vary considerably, so I am going to share with you some of my favourite places to enjoy this tasty little plate of food fusion.

Konnopke's Imbiß

This is widely regarded as one of the best Currywurst in Berlin and they definitely win on the historical front. A sausage-maker since 1930 and the first Currywurst vendor in East Berlin, and also the creator of the skinless Currywurst sausage. Great sauce, great fries, a great place to start.

http://konnopke-imbiss.de/Home.html

Konnopke's in the 1960s

Konnopke's in the 1960s

Curry Mitte

By far one of my favourites in Berlin. The meat in the sausage is locally sourced and they have an extra spicy, garlicky sauce you can order if you want a little more kick to your curry. They even offer a beef currywurst but I'd go for the original pork if I was you.

http://www.currymitte.de/

Curry 61

I always enjoy this Currywurst, a fairly sweet sauce which I think works very nicely with the curry powder. Be sure to ask to have your wurst 'scharf', meaning spicy, for that zing you need in a Currywurst. These guys even have a vegetarian sausage for those plant-eaters among us that don't want to miss out on this authentic Berlin experience.

http://www.curry61.de/

Curry Baude

On the advice of a friend of mine, a true Berliner, this is the best Currywurst in Berlin. All the key ingredients are perfectly balanced, great fries and they even have something called 'Zigeunersauce' which translates as 'gypsy sauce'. How can you go wrong.

http://www.curry-baude.de/

Guten Appetit!



Berlin's best Currywurst

The ubiquitous Currywurst with its sweet ketchup, dusting of curry powder and classic German sausage, is synonymous with Berlin and food. Perhaps not a 'refined' delicacy, but this little wurst stands proud within the Berlin food scene and definitely fulfills its purpose as good street-food.

A product of a dark and desperate time and a devastated city, where the resources were low but perseverance high, when a lady named Herta Heuwer obtained ketchup and curry powder from some neighbourly British troops in West Berlin, (they received alcohol in return, I say no more!), and combined it with what she had to hand, the traditional German sausage.

The interesting concoction was immediately successful and remains very much a firm favourite of Berliners today.

There are thousands of Currywurst vendors to choose from today in Berlin, and of course the quality can vary considerably, so I am going to share with you some of my favourite places to enjoy this tasty little plate of food fusion.

Konnopke's Imbiß

This is widely regarded as one of the best Currywurst in Berlin and they definitely win on the historical front. A sausage-maker since 1930 and the first Currywurst vendor in East Berlin, and also the creator of the skinless Currywurst sausage. Great sauce, great fries, a great place to start.

http://konnopke-imbiss.de/Home.html

Konnopke's in the 1960s

Konnopke's in the 1960s

Curry Mitte

By far one of my favourites in Berlin. The meat in the sausage is locally sourced and they have an extra spicy, garlicky sauce you can order if you want a little more kick to your curry. They even offer a beef currywurst but I'd go for the original pork if I was you.

http://www.currymitte.de/

Curry 61

I always enjoy this Currywurst, a fairly sweet sauce which I think works very nicely with the curry powder. Be sure to ask to have your wurst 'scharf', meaning spicy, for that zing you need in a Currywurst. These guys even have a vegetarian sausage for those plant-eaters among us that don't want to miss out on this authentic Berlin experience.

http://www.curry61.de/

Curry Baude

On the advice of a friend of mine, a true Berliner, this is the best Currywurst in Berlin. All the key ingredients are perfectly balanced, great fries and they even have something called 'Zigeunersauce' which translates as 'gypsy sauce'. How can you go wrong.

http://www.curry-baude.de/

Guten Appetit!



Tales of pickles and 'Ostalgie'

On the day to commemorate 25 years of German reunification, it seems only right to recognise the beloved Spreewälder Gurken (Spreewald pickles) and the concept of Ostalgie. For this little gherkin, represents a wealth of German history and political, even emotional conflict. He is more than just a pickle and encapsulates the essence of Ostalgie, the longing or nostalgia for the East German regime, the GDR.

Ask today's Berliner how they feel about the German reunification and of course, the majority are relieved and positive about the end of the GDR (and their country becoming whole again). However, there are some who lament the loss of the communist era and with it, the social system and the feeling of being part of a community.

This longing, affectionately termed 'ostalgie', a play on the words 'ost' meaning east and 'nostalgie' meaning nostalgia, encompasses the sentiment felt by some East germans that it was better in the days of the GDR. 'Die Mauer im Kopf' (wall in the mind) represents the divide, east from west, that continues to be felt by some. The remains of the Berlin wall may have been swept away, but it could take another generation for its effects to be fully forgotten. 

Walking around Neukölln, where I live, the difficult past of this city can be so easily forgotten, but enter Mitte or walk by Ostbahnhof and the remnants can be seen. Walk along Bernauerstraße on your way to Mauer Park, pass the Eastside gallery on your way to Berghain, Berlin's struggle is tangible, though it may now be brightly coloured. 

The Spreewald pickle, hailing from the damp, swampy forests of the Spreewald region just outside of Berlin, are one of the last remaining 'Ostprodukte' (Eastern products) to survive the fall of the wall. Flavoured either with dill, mustard seed or spices, they help satiate this nostalgia and represent a little win over the dominant West.

A popular delicacy in Berlin for centuries, stemming back to the 1740s when Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, brought both potatoes and cucumbers to Germany. He was a good man- I have no idea what Berliners would do without potatoes and pickles!

Other OstProdukte that can still be found in today's German supermarkets are Rotkäppchen, Vita cola and Berliner Pilsner. Rotkäppchen sekt (sparkling wine) is still very much the favoured Berliner bubbles of choice. A few days ago, in my local Späti, (corner shop), a lady was forced to buy a bottle of Mumm as the Rotkäppchen was sold out and this clearly pained her no end. Rotkäppchen actually now owns Mumm, but she wasn't to know.

If your interest has been piqued, go to Ostpaket in Mitte here in Berlin, which is an Ostalgie paradise. 

The authentic way to enjoy this juicy, fruity little Spreewälder pickle is with a hunk of good German bread and a lick of schmalz (dripping). If, like me, dripping gives you the fear, then you can find veggie options as shown in the photo. 

Enjoy with a nice Berliner Pilsner or a glass of Rotkäppchen and raise your glass to the German Reunification.

Prost!