Sunday, 20 April 2008

CURRYWURST






Currywurst is a German dish consisting of hot pork sausage (German: Wurst) cut into slices and seasoned with curry sauce (regularly consisting of ketchup or tomato paste blended with curry) and generous amounts of curry powder, or a ready-made ketchup-based sauce seasoned with curry and other spices. Currywurst is often sold as a take-out/take-away food, Schnell-Imbisse, at diners or "greasy spoons," on children's menus in restaurants, or as a street food.

Usually served with French fries or bread rolls, it is particularly popular in the metropolitan areas of the Ruhr Area, Berlin, and Hamburg. Considerable variation both in the type of sausage used and the ingredients of the sauce occurs between these areas, and there are disputes over where currywurst was originally invented and which version is the best. Sometimes currywurst is sold in food booth with a machine that will slice and spice with sausage. It is also sold as a supermarket-shelf product to prepare at home.

For decades, currywurst has been by far Germany's most popular fast food, especially among working-class Germans. In recent years its popularity has suffered due to the competition of pizza and döner kebab. Nevertheless, it remains easily available almost everywhere and continues to be culturally iconic.

Currywurst seems to have been invented in the post-World War II West Germany, although the exact time and place of the event remain subject to controversy. According to the Berlin legend, currywurst sauce was invented by one Herta Heuwer (b. June 30, 1913, Königsberg, d. July 3, 1999 in Berlin) when, while waiting for customers at her sausage stall in Berlin's Charlottenburg district on the rainy day of September 4, 1949, she started to experiment with the ingredients out of sheer boredom. According to the Ruhr-area legend, the sauce was accidentally invented by a sausage stall owner in Essen, who dropped a can with curry powder into some ketchup. In his 1993 novella entitled Die Entdeckung der Currywurst ("The Discovery of the Currywurst"), the renowned author Uwe Timm dates it to 1947 and attributes it to a fictional character called Lena Brücker, who ran a stall in Hamburg.

Early in his career German pop singer Herbert Grönemeyer, raised in Bochum, devoted a song to currywurst with lyrics in the typical sociolect of the Ruhr area.

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