We were on the ICE train to Paris from Frankfurt. We were hungry and the menu in the bar car was pretty limited. I’m not sure if he was just that hungry, if this was some sort of foraging exploration or if he was trying to be funny. What I do know is that this was a first outing for the Royal Indian Mounted Food Control Police vis à vis currywurst.
I can do a very good imitation of the snort of disdain he gave me when I told him I’d eaten it for lunch last spring. As one might imagine, this is a serious violation of the rules and regs of the Royal Association of Indian Food, a breech of comestibulary decorum, as well as code transgressions, and contravention of standards and dictates…as regards me anyway. And to be honest I can see why. It’s sliced hottened up wieners with ketchup and curry powder. In culinary terms, well, there are no culinary terms here.
He liked it. (What’s not to like?) The next day when we were outing and abouting he was feeling peckish, he recalled it wistfully. I’m certain Ganesha will have something to say about this.
Years ago I read a book in which “currywurst” was featured heavily and I never really knew if it was actually a thing. It is. There, as I waltzed into the Konstablerwache Platz after my German lesson, right smack in front of me was a food truck that sold currywurst. (And also baked potatoes with some fabulous looking green/white sauce and glorious french fries). I nearly fainted with anticipatory pleasure. So I stopped for Mittagessen—mid day eating. (Dinner is Abendessen—evening eating. Breakfast is Früstück which of course means “early piece”…shoot me)
There was a line and I got in it. I mean, if there was a line that a good thing. There’s a reason. Plus there’s the added benefit of providing the time to figure out what one is doing. If you just march up to a food vendor with no one in line in front of you they’re going to immediately bark at you in full-on incomprehensible German before you’ve had time to figure out if you’re having nudeln oder schnitzel, fer chrissake.
And then it turned out the woman in front of me (see red tub in the lower right hand side of the first picture) handed the guy the tub and a typed out list of about 750 things for her colleagues, I imagined. Normally this would have seriously annoyed me but in this case it just gave me time to observe the procedure and organize my ordering approach, call up and practice the right words, and reassure myself that I was not going to be arrested or slapped. And could it be any worse than a French waiter? When it was finally, sometime around cocktail hour, my turn I calmly ordered currywurst mit bröchen (hard roll).
It’s a fascinating procedure. They dump a sausage, something considerably larger than a wiener into a slicing machine which shoots it all into a paper tray-sorta-thing, slop that with what they call ketchup (but to me was BBQ sauce-like), shake curry powder onto it and hand you a bun.