Everybody knows the story of the epic 1948 Berlin Airlift—the brave pilots who delivered goods to the beleaguered citizens of war-devastated Berlin, many of whom were hanging on by their fingernails during a blockaded frozen winter barely three years after the end of World War II.
That great victory for air cargo, and the terrible famine faced by Berlin’s citizenry, produced a dish that is much loved today: Berlin Currywurst.
Currywurst is a fast-food dish of hot pork sausage; the sausage is cut into slices, seasoned with curry ketchup, and available throughout Berlin at 'Imbißstube' and from food trucks.
The invention of Currywurst is attributed to Herta Heuwer, who thought up the recipe in late 1947, at a time when there was not much food in Germany, let alone a spicy, kick-it-up-a-notch option to fried sausage. Frau Heuwer started selling the cheap but filling snack to locals out of her kitchen and then later from a street stand in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, where it became popular amongst construction workers rebuilding the devastated city, military soldiers on duty in Occupied Germany, and pilots on break from flying military personnel and supplies in and out of nearby Templehof and Tegel Airports. At its busiest, Helga’s stand was selling 10,000 Currywurst servings a week.
She later opened a small restaurant, which operated until 1974.
Today, Currywurst is often sold as a take-out/take-away food, Schnellimbisse (snacks), at diners or "greasy spoons," on children's menus in restaurants, or as a street food.
Usually served with french fries or bread rolls (Brötchen), it is popular all over Germany, but particularly popular in the metropolitan areas of Berlin, Hamburg, and the Ruhr Area.
Currywurst is also famous and much loved all the way out in California, USA, and is the name of a neat restaurant in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, where some young German foodies have reimagined the recipe and serve up the Currywurst to an eager full house every day.
There is even a museum in Berlin that celebrates Currywurst (http://www.currywurstmuseum.de/en/), near the famous former Checkpoint Charlie, where visitors can get the entire story plus enjoy a meal to underscore the visit.
Even Frau Herta is remembered by the Berlin City Fathers with a small plaque where she started her stand in 1949.
We wonder about those air cargo pilots from long ago and far away that saved Berlin before and after the Berlin Airlift, and how Frau Heuwer’s smoky sausages fired up their engines and kept them running.
Source: Flying Typers, Geoffrey/Flossie
Gravity always wins!