No Carbs, Fräulein?
It is an undeniable fact: The common sausage is not a stunner to look at – nor does it photograph well. No matter the species, a regular Wurst’s mere shape and colour are giving food stylists a hard time: There is absolutely no way to let it shine. Yet, once thrown on to the grill and noisily sizzling, its distinct aroma promptly exerts its wondrous magnetism and lures entranced workers and bankers, housewives and business women, young, old or canine straight into places such as Herman ze German’s. London’s cosmopolitan denizens, its native population and tourists alike seem to succumb to the multiple stimuli exuded by the authentic German sausage … if the verifiable afflux accounts for anything. The Bratwurst (pork & veal), Bockwurst (smoked pork) or the Chilli Beef Wurst (pork & beef) on the menu all are eligible for ennoblement, thus crowned the sausage of sausages: the legendary Currywurst.
Herman ze German’s three restaurants are found in what is considered the world’s most sophisticated city. Apparently, London’s discerning inhabitants are swept off their feet by the German Wurst’s inexplicable magic, keeping long-hatched prejudices aside and owners Azadeh Falakshahi and Florian Frey buoyant. Why wouldn’t they be, now that their tasty sausage engine is purring ever so smoothly?
Fatty and dripping, sinful on the caloric side – but oh so good!
What expectant customers are oftentimes patiently queueing for is being produced by a trusted butcher in Germany’s Black Forest region. With allergies dictating many a modern dietary regimen, Herman’s assure all sausages to be free of gluten and lactose. To refine their Curry sauce to perfection took them four long years. Now it is to be had in varying degrees of spicy heat and, understandably, the recipe is kept a top-secret affair.
There are Schnitzels on the food list and salads and Sauerkraut and Pretzels and beer following German purity requirements, the unyielding „Reinheitsgebot“ and many more tempting „Leckereien“ (goodies). To set their guilty conscience at ease, chronic slimmers may want to waive crunchy french fries and go for the hip-friendly “No Carbs Fräulein” meal instead.
The fabulous success story of the Currywurst is said to have begun in Berlin, where Herta Heuwer, then-owner of a popular roach coach, had her „special sauce“ patented back in 1959. She liked experimenting with ingredients no one else would ever think of blending. Et voilà!, the unsightly Wurst became the city’s best-selling delicacy thanks to Herta’s groundbreaking concoction. So much so, that to-date, decadent lifestyle addicts in Germany’s capital won’t shy away from topping the precious dish with a generous helping of costly Caviar. The sacred sausage even has its own place of worship: Deutsches Currywurst Museum Berlin at Schützenstraße 70 – only 100 metres from Checkpoint Charlie. http://currywurstmuseum.com/
Urban Wurst havens built on trial-and-error
When Azadeh and Florian first came to Britain in mid 2000, all was well, except Wurst-wise. Mouth-watering care packages with the real stuff arriving from home were readily shared with flatmates and devoutly relished during cheerful barbecues. Soon the professional „Bratwurst Weeks“ rocked the pub around the corner. Next steps: Trailer auctioned for Wurst-sale at music festivals. „Trusted Black Forest butcher“ Fritz helping out by delivering a considerable quantity to start with. Two years of doing small time. Sound sense of humour keeping spirit alive. First diner opened, second diner opened. Third one open since October 2014.
More Herman ze German restaurants are in the pipeline. A catering service already forms part of the business.
Branches are located at Charing Cross (Villiers St), Soho (Old Compton St) and Fitzrovia (Charlotte St). www.hermanzegerman.com
Images: Courtesy of ©Herman ze German