by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Sunday, August 25, 2013
Currywurst Mit Pommes
The thought of sausage sitting in a pool of curried tomato sauce, alongside french fries, would haunt me for days. Until I finally made it. It continues to haunt me. I will get random cravings for Currywurst a few times a year. And no, they don't just go away. I have to actually make a batch.
I've tweaked that original recipe here and there over the years to find one that is perfect (in my mind). But the thing is, I've never tried any Currywurst but my own. But I know in my heart of (German) hearts that it's the real deal.
While there are arguments of where Currywurst got its humble start, the most popular (and most widely accepted) tale is that of one Herta Heuwer. Heuwer was a German housewife who served wursts to construction workers back in 1949, after the end of the war. Getting bored of the regular old sauce, she decided to add some curry powder that was left behind by British soldiers, to tomato paste, worcestershire, and some other ingredients. 10 years later, she registered a trademark for her popular sauce, calling it Chillup. Supposedly Kraft tried to buy it from her, and she refused. There is a plaque honoring her on a wall in Berlin where her original Imbißstand (food stall/snack stand) once stood.
Now, in Hamburg, they claim that Lena Brücker (an invented name from a book) developed Currywurst two years earlier. But that's one of those stories...ketchup in one arm, curry powder in the other...trip and fall down, mixing the two.
Whoever the true inventor was - thank you. 17 millions Berliners and I can't be wrong. There is even a whole museum dedicated to Currywurst in Berlin. And you know it's good when people sing songs about it!
Brötchen. And always smothered in the sauce that lends it its name.
Hmmmm... On further thought, maybe I should open my own Currywurst Stand. Park it right near campus on weekends and during home games...
- Weisswurst (veal sausage), Frankfurters, or Bratwurst
- French Fries (hand-cut or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 small yellow onions, peeled & sliced
- 1 heaping tablespoon curry powder, storebought or homemade (recipe follows)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 pound (~2 cups) whole, peeled tomatoes (w/ their juices if using canned)
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
- extra curry powder
- 1 heaping tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.