Oktoberfest or Currywurst? Your favourite stereotype about Germany

Everybody knows the deal: Once Germany is mentioned, inevitably Lederhosen, Oktoberfest or at least Currywurst come up as well. But of course all is not that bad. Lately, rumours spread that there is actually more to Germany than Lederhosen and Wurst. But still, some stereotypes, no matter how ridiculous they are, tend to stick, if only for the fun of it. Let’s have a closer look at some of them.

With Christmas coming up, it’s a good time for all the traditional, folksy kind of stuff anyway. Whilst not exactly a stereotype, one of those things to evolve from a localism to generally well-known “brand” are the various type of “Stollen”, the traditional Christmas cake and of course the proverbial German Lebkuchen- you’ll find them everywhere these days.

EnDe intext1But what about stuff you can eat all year round? The (in)famous Currywurst? As it’s the case anywhere, people like to make an argument about traditions (if you want to call fast food a tradition anyway). Who invented it, where, and how it’s done the right way?

Historians have it that the one and only Currywurst was invented by one Mrs. Herta Heuwer, who started selling it in 1949 from her Berlin food stall. However, ever since the popular novelist Uwe Timm features this moment to change the culinary world in his novel Die Erfindung der Currywurst, the matter is debated happily again-because Hamburg is the place of action.

Whilst I have a good Currywurst now and then, there’s one thing I’d leave to your typical tourist: the Oktoberfest. The way almost every American I’ve met relishes in “the octoberfest experience” always amazes me, speaking as one who has never been there. Beer prices and the annual pictures of those unfortunate drinkers who had more than they could cope with will make sure I keep it that way. Everyone else-have fun!


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