Whilst milling around our local branch of Aldi last Sunday B came upon a packet of Bratwurst. I was not overly impressed by the look of the chunky shrink wrapped German sausages, but the sight of them seemed to send B into a tail-spin of excitement.
B has developed a fondness for all things Germanic having visited both Cologne and Berlin in the last year or two and part of the appeal seems to centre round the popular street food – currywurst.
With pleading eyes B begged for a reprieve from our daily diet of rocket, parmesan shavings, puy lentils and black turtle beans. He wanted Currywurst and more than that he wanted it with chips. How bad could it be? I agreed and his eyes twinkled – it was akin to telling a child they could have Happy Meals every day of the week.
So what is the big deal about Currywurst?
Well the Germans seem to like it, that’s for sure – over 800 million currywurst are sold every year in Germany.
It was invented in 1949 by Herta Heuwer in Berlin after she obtained curry powder, Worcester sauce and ketchup from British soldiers. She mixed these ingredients with other spices and poured it over grilled pork sausage. She went on to sell her snack on a street stand in Berlin where it became popular with construction workers rebuilding the city. It is now sold all over Germany but in Berlin you can pick one up on virtually every corner, served with chips of course.
My favourite currywurst fact proves beyond all doubt that Currywurst is indeed a German national treasure: the Volkswagen plant at Wolfsberg has its own butchery producing 3.5 million Currywursts a year, serving 1.6m employees. Wowzer!
So …. I had the sausage and I had the chips and a little browsing online furnished me with a recipe for the sauce.
Recipe for Currywurst sauce
460 ml of ketchup, generous tablespoon of medium curry powder, tablespoon of smoked paprika, scant tablespoon of sugar, medium onion minced, dash of oil
Bratwurst sausages (as many as you fancy eating)
Chips (you have to have the chips)
Cook the onion for a few minutes in the oil then add the ketchup, curry powder, paprika and sugar, simmer for about 15 minutes whilst you cook your Bratwurst and chips.
Serve with chips and a good German beer
Well to be honest I am surprised that there was enough sauce to go onto the Bratwurst as I couldn’t stop eating spoonfuls of it during cooking . Its hard to belive that a few simple cupboard staples can result in such a rich and utterly scrummy sauce. I absolutely loved it and think that everybody should try it at least once.
The Bratwurst was from ALDI who are of course German so not surprised that they lived up to expectations. Don’t often shop in ALDI but will be dipping in for Bratwurst in the future.
We accompanied our traditional German fayre with a German bier called Bitburger (available in 500ml bottles from Sainsbury) for that authentic Berliner experience.
The whole meal was delish and could only have been improved perhaps by serving it in a little cardboard carton rather than a plate. It is street food and it felt a little odd eating it from Denby (I never understand those who transfer their fish supper onto their best china!)