Museum spotlight: Deutsches Currywurst Museum Berlin

If the word 'museum' conjures up the image of hushed and dimly lit galleries with dusty exhibits - then think again. We have travelled the globe (digitally) to find some of the most quirky museums - museums that are tributes to weird and wonderful subjects and that are filled with extraordinary stories and unusual exhibits.

For the first article in our Museum Spotlight series, we look at the wonderful Currywurst Museum in Berlin - a museum which describes itself as 'a lot of museum with a lot of sausage'.

Located near Checkpoint Charlie in the Mitte region of the city, the Currywurst Museum celebrates the German cult snack, the Currywurst. This snack is made from sliced pork sausage served with a sauce made of ketchup and curry powder and is so delicious, it's almost addictive. According to the museum, Currywurst was the invention of Berliner, Herta Heuwer in 1949, who began experimenting with ingredients provided by British soldiers living in the capital. Today, Currywurst is as common as hamburgers in the U.S.  Indeed, Germans consume about 800 million Currywursts annually - 70 million are eaten in Berlin alone each year.

As Bianca Wohlfromm from the museum explained:

'The Currywurst is very popular in Berlin and the success story of the Currywurst is a phenomenon. Due to the history, it is part of Germany's cultural heritage. More than 2000 places offer Currywurst in Berlin and on almost every street corner at any time, day or night, people can enjoy a Currywurst. Currywurst means simplicity and honesty, being in the world, down-to-earth – yet special.'

Museum Founder, Martin Loewer came up with the idea for the museum during a holiday trip to Jamaica. There he visited an exhibition about the yam root and started thinking about what food type would be as popular in Berlin. In 2005, the team started planning and the museum opened four years later in August 2009.

The museum explores all aspects of the Currywurst including how it is prepared; its history and invention; the snack stands across Berlin and how this snack has inspired songwriters, comedians, authors and filmmakers. 

The museum has many interactive exhibits, some of which are educational, like the Spice Chamber where visitors have to identify the different ingredients within curry powder by smell.

Spice station at the Currywurst Museum Berlin

Other exhibits are pure fun, like CurryUp!, the computer game where you have to prepare different orders of Currywurst as fast as you can using a plastic knife, curry shaker and ketchup bottle.

Famous songs about the iconic Berlin snack are played through audio stations in the shape of ketchup bottles.

Ketchup shaped audio stations at the Currywurst museum

A walk-in Currywurst street stall gives visitors the opportunity to get the perspective of the wurst chef.

Walk in Currywurst street stall at the Currywurst Museum

And for those in need of a quiet moment during their visit, there is a comfy sofa in the shape of a giant Currywurst.

Wurst sofa at the CurryWurst museum

At the end of their tour, visitors can sample a Currywurst before visiting the store to browse merchandise like the museum's cuddly Currywurst mascot, QWoo; a plate of marzipan Currywurst and fries and, my favourite, an apron with the words 'Don't worry, be curry'.

The museum is quirky, educational, entertaining and playful - and that's a powerful combination. If you are planning a visit to Berlin anytime soon, do go. 

Tickets cost between seven and 11 euros and the museum is open from 10am to 6pm. Find out more about the museum here.

Address: Schützenstraße 70, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Our thanks to Bianca Wohlfromm and the Currywurst Museum team for their help with this article.

All images © Deutsches Currywurst Museum Berlin