Sunday 23 February 2020

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Bia Sasta

Curry wursts are the best!

Thursday, 9th January, 2020 8:53am

It has been 18 years since I was last in Berlin. There wasn’t a particular reason; I just never had the need to go. But being from Berlin, people kept asking me what places in Berlin I would recommend for food.

So I had to say to people to let me know (where was good for food) when they come back. When my brother asked me to join his birthday celebrations at the start of December, I thought it was a good opportunity to reconnect with my hometown.

I often get asked what I miss about Berlin/Germany and the only things I always mention are the Christmas markets and jelly bananas (don’t ask). But the second we stepped out of the airport and I saw ads for curry wurst, I knew that there was more to be re-discovered. It is funny when looking back over the years, how rose-tinted some of my memories were but also how I forgot very simple pleasures.

I hadn’t seen my Turkish friend Gülgün for the same amount of time I hadn’t been to Germany. We grew up together and she took me on a walking tour through our childhood area and took us out for a Turkish breakfast.

The area I grew up in was high in Turkish population, which enriched my life considerably. So I knew I was in good hands going to La Femme (it is a Turkish café chain in Berlin).

It seemed I had never left Berlin – the area still looked the same, although the local pubs I used to hang out in have closed down and made way for a Korean eatery and an antique shop. When visiting Berlin, you need to go to a Turkish café or restaurant – it is as much part of Berlin culture as sauerkraut is (if not more so).

Now, let me explain curry wurst to you – wurst is the German word for sausage. Sounds simple enough and it is one of the simplest dishes you could eat. The sausage is fried, cut into pieces, placed on a paper plate and drizzled with special ketchup and topped with a sprinkle of curry powder. Don’t dismiss it until you have tried it!

Apparently, the best curry wurst it to be found at Curry 36 near the train station Zoologischer Garten. I love curry wurst and need to figure out how to re-create the ketchup (watch this space!).

Something else I miss is a sour beer called Berliner Weisse (weiss is the German word for white). It is bottled and served with either woodruff or raspberry cordial and you order green or red.

And talking about beer – Mr T and I tried quite a few and I was stunned that Mr T wasn’t that impressed by the beers he tasted. They weren’t bad but lacked the depth of flavour that our amazing Irish craft beer is so famous for.

Saying that, all beers we tasted were commercially produced – we never made it to a craft beer pub. Gülgün also took us to Café Einstein – I thought it a café as hundred others until she told me she baked the cheesecakes for the café. There is so much more to talk about and I am planning to write a longer article on my website.

Keep an eye out for it.

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