The American trend makes its way to Berlin and gets a German makeover.
By Anna Cramer • Photographs courtesy Anna Cramer
Berliners and their Currywurst are said to be inseparable. No wonder, then, that more than one thousand curry sausages—with ketchup and / or mayo—were served at one of the biggest social events of the year, the Bundespresseball 2015 (Ball of the Federal Press). Locations of the best food stalls for this staple are passed on mostly by word of mouth, and those favored by the mayors of Berlin—past and present—are a sort of public secret.
But in the past few years, a new fad originating in the United States is conquering German towns and especially its capital: food trucks are springing up everywhere, and familiar notions such as that Germans only survive on Oktoberfest fare like beer, pretzels and wurst are relegated to the realm of fiction. Today, some of the best of these mobile restaurants on four wheels can be found in Berlin, where it is now simply hip to turn your back on canteens and cafeterias and instead lean on the hood of a cream colored vintage Citroën H to munch a Schnitzel or a Cointreau-topped crêpe to recharge your batteries.
Although Bratwurst or pancakes have always been sold from food stalls at weekly farmer’s markets, flea markets, or Christmas markets, the new trend is different in two ways. The mobility of these kitchens gives them a range that covers all kinds of events, from street food festivals to pop concerts, from catering on the spot for anniversaries, film festivals, sports events, and more—quite in keeping with the quick pace of a fast growing city. Also, they generally cater to more refined tastes and present specialties from around the world and promise exciting gastronomic adventures: Mexican tacos, American spare ribs, West-African Creole wraps, Swabian Spätzle, Vietnamese pho (soup), Iberian steamed pork, or freshly squeezed juice of tropical fruits and homemade ice cream.
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