More than just a sausage!

January 28, 2013

Kids in Museums, Germany

“Currywurst is more than just a sausage: it’s one of life’s experiences…”

The humble Currywurst is not only Germany’s favourite fast food snack, it’s become a piece of German cultural history, immortalised in literature, music and film. No surprise then, that it should also have its very own museum. I’ve actually visited the Deutsches Currywurst Museum a couple of times, but for some reason never done a proper review of it here on Museum Diary. Well, we were just there again this past weekend, so what better excuse to remedy that.

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Some sceptics feel it’s more of a gimmick than a proper museum, but they’d be doing it an injustice. It’s actually very educational. Visitors can not only find out everything there is to know about Currywurst around the world – did you know there are over 2,000 vendors in Berlin alone? – but also about the history of fast food culture in general – from the first fast food in 3,600 BC to the invention of bistros, microwave ovens and fast food chains in the modern day – in a fun and multi-sensory way by looking, listening, touching, playing, smelling and even tasting! The different sections of the exhibition cover fast food culture, history, ingredients and spices, ecology and sustainability, and Currywurst in popular culture.  The thematic design and layout of the exhibition, with its giant chips and blob of tomato sauce dripping from the ceiling, adds to the appeal, and the loving attention to detail has to be commended.

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In case you’re unfamiliar with this most beloved of all German sausages, its invention is credited to Herta Heuwer who, in 1949, combined tomato puree with around a dozen different spices to create her patented ‘Chillup’ sauce – the recipe for which she took to her grave, having destroyed all documents relating to her invention. Hamburg, incidentally, also claims to being the birthplace to Currywurst in a novel by Uwe Timm, which is visualised in a comic version on display at the museum.

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The museum credits itself as an ‘Erlebnisausstellung’ (Engl: experience exhibition), and as mentioned visitors are invited to engage all their senses: listen to musical interpretations of the Currywurst via the Ketchup bottle audio stations, take a seat on the ‘Wurstsofa’ (Engl: sausage sofa) and watch a film about how Currywurst is made, or test your sense of smell in the spices store. There’s also a medley of TV and movie clips to watch, and a quiz at the ‘Currymat’ to discover you personal Currywurst type.

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If you fancy having a go at serving up some Currywurst yourself, challenge yourself on the ‘Curry Up’ touch screen game to see how fast you can be, or role play at being a vendor in the Currywurst van with authentic audio sound effects of sizzling sausages – as #MuseumBaby so nicely put it, “Essen ist fertig!” (Engl: “Food’s ready!”). It’s also the perfect spot for your souvenir photo shot ;-)

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A nice little additional feature is the kids’ trail, which consists of a series of ketchup splatter shaped panels hiding flaps to lift or other information behind them. #MuseumBaby was still too young to understand any of the child friendly info, but he had great fun hunting down the panels, lifting the flaps and identifying the object shapes used in the illustrations.

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Regular admission price includes a portion of Currywurst – or you can upgrade to a ‘snack ticket’ which includes three different types – and there’s an option for vegetarians too. We’d planned our visit to end around lunch time, and after a fun-filled morning of exploration there were satisfied faces all round as we munched away.

I’d wholeheartedly recommend this museum to anyone looking to do something a little different on their visit to Berlin. Show the critics that they’re wrong and head for a great day out!

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* Disclaimer: Many thanks to the Currywurst Museum for our pair of free tickets and the sweets for #MuseumBaby. Please note though that all opinions on the blog are my own – we genuinely are big fans of the museum.

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9 Responses to “More than just a sausage!”

  1. QWoo Says:

    Obviously you and #MuseumBaby had a great time discovering the history of currywurst. Currydank for an enthusiastic blog post and marvellous pictures!

    QWoo, mascot of Deutsches Currywurst Museum Berlin

    Reply

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