When people find out you’re planning a trip to a heavily visited city such as Berlin, it’s not long before you’re saddled with “you have tos”. One of the most common lines I heard before I left for Berlin which continued after I arrived was, “You have to try to the currywurst!” I make an effort to sample unique local specialties at least once wherever I go, so I could get down with this suggestion.
I’d been hoping to try currywurst for the first time at the popular outdoor food stall, Curry 36. But for days after I came back from Prague, the storms did not let up and I wasn’t willing to water down my currywust with rain. I decided a good second option was the food court at a local mall in Mitte. When I got there, it wasn’t long before I spotted a stall devoted to currywurst.
As I was standing in line, for the first time it occurred to me that as much as I’d heard people talk about it, I had no idea what currywurst actually was. There were a lot more items on the menu than I’d expected and I couldn’t decipher the German. Thankfully, the kind old man behind the counter assisted me in selecting my currywurst along with a side of french fries and beer.
When it was ready, I was surprised I what I saw even though I had no idea what to expect. I received a no nonsense steam pork sausage cut up into bite-size pieces and covered with lumpy curry-spiced ketchup. It looked absolutely disgusting. But I’ve eaten stranger things, so I dug in with one of the tiny little forks that was provided.
The verdict? This sloppy looking dish was surprisingly delicious. The sausage was good on its own and the curry and ketchup were an excellent pair to make it even tastier. I can see why it’s been a local favorite for over 60 years.
If you go to Berlin, you have to try the currywurst.
Have you ever tried a local specialty that looked or smelled unappealing but turned out to be delicious?