Monday, June 26, 2006

Curry & Sausage?!! Na klar, Currywurst!!!

Well, I have to report that sadly, none of my plans for football-inspired food have really come to fruition so far as I’m far too busy watching the games to go in for elaborate dishes...

So, we had fish and chips from the chippy for one of the England matches, and Argentinian steaks done in the George Foreman (very tough), and for one of the Mexico matches, Tom cooked some very hot chicken, which we ate in flour tortillas. I was rather hoping to get rid of the Swedish meatballs which have been lingering in the freezer, but I didn’t want to do that for the England match, and certainly not against Germany, and sadly now Sweden are out of the competition. Ozzy wanted me to do German meatballs (by which he means Königsberger Klopse) instead but with the match so early, I really needed something much faster. And what is Germany’s favourite fast food? Of course! Currywurst!!

Yes, to the rest of you the idea of Bratwurst swimming in a curry sauce is probably stomach turning, but ever since someone had the idea of cutting up a Bratwurst into slices, laying them out on a narrow paper tray, and topping them with lashings of curry-laced tomato sauce sprinkled with curry powder, this No 1 snack (“Imbiss”) had no rival until the rise of the mighty Döner Kebab.

So popular is this sausage that it now has its own museum in Berlin, and three areas claiming to be the home of the originator: the Ruhr-area (Ruhrgebiet, aka Kohlenpott = coalpot), Hamburg and Berlin.
I found no less than four different websites (all in German) – and there are probably more - devoted to the cult sausage.

http://www.currybu.de/
http://www.wurstflash.de/
http://www.toms-bastelbude.de/currywurst.html
http://www.currywurst-berlin.com/

From what I can tell, there is quite a dispute over the true story of its origins. As a Kohlenpott-girl, I had always assumed it was a regional dish – and after all, had not Herbert Grönemeyer[1] himself praised the humble sausage as something to still your hunger, to make you feel better when you feel down, just the right thing when you come from your shift? ( In ‘Die Currywurst’ - sung in the local sociolect.)
I also quite like the accidental nature of the ketchup-curry sauce discovery in the myth that links the sausage to Essen. But read all about it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Currywurst
And if your curiosity is not stilled yet – there is also a short film (2004) by an LA woman, Grace Lee, “Best of the Wurst”, exploring legend, Imbissbuden, Berlin and expert opinions. – Apparently, a topic hotly debated is the sausage itself – does it have to be a skinless sausage?


Well, mine wasn't. It was simply Bratwurst from Lidl, fried in a little vegetable oil (by now I’ve learnt that it has to be peanut oil if you want it to be authentic), sliced and kept warm, while I poured water into the pan, followed by a Knorr Currywurst sachet, stirred until thickened and there you have it! – I know it’s cheating but I had to try it out (and no, you can’t buy the sachets here unless you happen to have a very strange German delicatessen nearby, hmmm... that reminds me, but that’s another story, which will feature here soon...). Here are the ingredients:

Sugar, tomato powder, salt, flour, 7% curry, vegetable oil, apple powder (??!!), corn flour, monosodiumglutamate, disodiumanate (??!!), disodiumguaylate (??!!), maltodextrin, onions, beetroot powder (??!!), soy sauce, aroma (??!!), sodiumdiacetate (??!!), citric acid, garlic, ginger, milk sugar, dextrose, nutmeg, rosemary

So you see, apart from the chemicals, it’s quite easy to replicate. There are a number of recipes on the net, but I really think the basic ingredients are a tomato base, curry powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt and chili powder. So, next time, I shall experiment and make my very own special sauce, for Currywurst und Pommes Spezial.

For yesterday's England match, we simply had strawberries and cream but I'm planning a St. George's cross pizza for next Saturday, and something of a "Last 8" canapé platter - with Argentina and Brazil[2]
causing me a bit of a problem... (LOL!)


[1] German actor/singer; his 1984 album “Bochum” is the best selling German language record of all time. Fittingly, his “Zeit, dass sich was dreht”/Celebrate the day (2006), is the official FIFA 2006 anthem!
http://www.groenemeyer.de/
[2] That is, assuming that Brazil will beat Ghana – which, according to Ozzy, is not going to happen... After his adventure in Germany he’s an ardent Ghana supporter – which reminds me, I have to dash off and get his Ghana shirt washed and ready for tomorrow... Tooodleloo!

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