Herta Charlotte Heuwer (born June 30, 1913 in Königsberg as Herta Charlottte Pöppel, died July 3, 1999 in Berlin) owned and ran a food kiosk in West Berlin. She is frequently credited with the invention of the take-out dish that would become the world-renowned currywurst, supposedly on September 4, 1949. The day before what would have been her 90th birthday, a plaque was dedicated in her honour on the corner of Kant and Kaiser Friedrich Streets, Berlin where she had her kiosk. The original Currywurst was a boiled sausage, fried, with a sauce of tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder and other ingredients.
In January 1951, Heuwer registered a trademark for her sauce, Chillup. She moved her business to a larger facility at Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße 59, which, during its heyday, was open day and night and employed 19 saleswomen. A plaque at this location commemorates the woman and her invention.
On June 30, 2013, Heuwer's 100th birthday was celebrated with a Google Doodle.
Other sources claim that currywurst was invented in Hamburg. Author Uwe Timm contends in his novel The Discovery of Currywurst that he had eaten currywurst in Hamburg as early as 1947, but the inventor of Currywurst in his novel, Lena Brücker, is an admitted literary license. However, that did not prevent the former Hamburg Senator of the Interior Ronald Schill from honoring Lena Brücker in 2003.
Food historians such as Petra Foede think that as with most culinary creation myths, several rather than a single person were involved in developing this dish, sausage sellers experimenting with various spice mixes in order to replace the tomato catchup that was unavailable during the immediate postwar years.
- Monika Thiemen, Rede am 29. Juni 2003, berlin.de
- Warenzeichenblatt Nr. 4 vom 28. Februar 1959, Teil II (eingetragene Zeichen) S. 327, https://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/marke/uebersicht; http://www.historische-rezeptwerkstatt.de/images/patent.jpg
- Paterson, Tony (2009-08-15). "Spicy sausage that is worthy of a shrine in Berlin". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- WeiberWirtschaft e. G Standort für Chefinnen, accessed November 18, 2014
- Petra Foede, Wie Bismarck auf den Hering kam. Kulinarische Legenden. Kein & Aber, Zürich 2009, ISBN 978-3-0369-5268-0.
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