There are certain dishes that are popular in one country but virtually unheard of in most others, yet they’re so approachable and tasty that it just makes you scratch your head. Like, why does the whole world eat stuff like pizza or tacos, but not this?
Currywurst is one of those dishes. It’s absolutely everywhere here in Berlin. I doubt you can walk more than a block or two without stumbling across a place that serves it.
There’s absolutely nothing gourmet about it — it’s a greasy sausage that’s been cut up, slathered in ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder, typically served with a mound of fries. The balance between the sweetness of the ketchup, the savouriness of the the sausage, and the mild spice from the curry powder just works. It might not be the best thing that you’ve ever eaten, but it’s cheap and satisfying, and sometimes that’s all that matters.
Also: you have the choice of mayo or more ketchup on your fries, and I’ve been going with mayo, because that’s one thing the Europeans are dead-on about: mayo is the perfect French fry condiment. But man, they aren’t kidding around with it. They pour it onto the fries like they’re trying to put out a fire. It seems like too much, but I always wind up eating it all, so what do I know?
Seriously though: there’s nothing weird or unusual about the flavours in currywurst. It’s pure comfort food, so why this isn’t a bigger deal outside of Germany is kind of mystifying to me.