The British Army invented curry

nutrition How did the currywurst come about?

Herta Heuwer used a rainy September evening in West Berlin in 1949

Probably the most famous “creation myth” takes place in Berlin. More precisely: 1949 in West Berlin's Charlottenburg. There, on a rainy September evening, the takeaway owner Herta Heuwer is said to have mixed the first sauce of its kind from curry powder, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce out of boredom and a lack of customers and served it with a sausage. According to her own statement, she protected her secret recipe with a patent ten years later. However, it was not a patent; in 1959 she only had a trademark protected, namely for the fantasy word “chillup”, which is made up of chilli and ketchup, and not for the dish. But at least: the process is documented.

Max Konnopke inspires East Berlin's delivery bottleneck for new sauce

A few months later the currywurst was also available in East Berlin, at "Konnopke’s Imbiß" in Prenzlauer Berg. Max Konnopke is said to have created his own variation of sauces, independent of the West Berliner, due to the short supply of ketchup. Both stories make Berlin the internationally known birthplace of the currywurst.

Author Uwe Timm wants to remember the pleasure of currywurst as early as 1947

In their self-confidence as the inventor of currywurst, the people of Hamburg refer to the novella “Discovery of Currywurst” by Uwe Timm from 1993. From this text, the fictional character Lena Brückner emerges as the inventor of the currywurst. The author wants to remember eating currywurst as a child in Hamburg as early as 1947 - two years before Herta Heuwer. But apart from this memory, there is no evidence of this.

Princely sausage sauce in Lower Saxony as early as 1946?

Another thesis: In 2018, Alexander Fürst zu Schaumburg-Lippe spoke in the Bild newspaper. Bückeburg Castle in Lower Saxony belongs to the prince and a cook named Ludwig Dinslage was employed at this castle in the post-war years. He is said to have prepared a currywurst as early as 1946. The occasion: British officers from the Rhine Army were visiting the castle, Dinslage had to improvise and made a sauce from apricot jam, tomato ketchup, curry and salt. The British would have loved it. At least that's what the cook reported to the "Westfalenpost" in 1984. Whether that was the case can no longer be verified today.

Conclusion: Currywurst is a post-war invention

After all, there is so much agreement: the currywurst came about somewhere as a spontaneous idea in the years after the Second World War. This is also obvious, since the main ingredients - ketchup and curry - only became more widely known in German kitchens with the British and US occupation: ketchup by the GIs and curry by the British.

So it is quite possible that several creative chefs came up with the same idea at the time.

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