Volkswagen’s other speciality: curry sausage

Source:AFP Published: 2016/5/13 0:14:52

Known worldwide for its popular Beetle camper van and, of late, its engine-rigging scandal, German automaker Volkswagen also has another slightly lesser-known speciality: the curry sausage.

An icon of popular food culture in Germany, the pork sausage smothered in spiced ketchup and topped with curry powder has been a workman's favorite for decades, sold at greasy spoons and railway stations - and at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg.

In the vast auto plant's kitchens, Francesco Lo Presti is cutting up pieces of pork, to be minced and stuffed into sausage casings, which are then smoked and grilled.

A short distance from the car assembly lines, the master butcher in his white chef's hat has worked here for more than 15 years making Volkswagen's very own "Currywurst," based on a recipe dating back to 1973.

Under the supervision of Lo Presti, some 30 kitchen staff participate each day in the industrial-scale production of 30,000 curry sausages, which is also a favorite snack at the local soccer stadium of VfL Wolfsburg.

Given its employees' enthusiasm for the beloved banger, VW offers it in canteens in most of its plants worldwide, including in the US, India and China, where it is produced under licence by a supplier.

In Germany, VW's curry sausage is often offered by company car salesmen as a treat for prospective clients, and also features on the menu at corporate marketing events.

The celebrated sausage has even made it onto the shelves of some Edeka chain supermarkets, along with a VW-branded spicy tomato sauce.

For Lo Presti, the Currywurst is a labor of love, as much as the latest car model is to the plant's designers, engineers and mechanics.

"The well-selected meat, a blend of spices that is of course secret, these are the essential ingredients," he says. "You just add ketchup... It's unbeatable."

He cannot imagine Volkswagen without the sausage, which is even listed as an official VW component with the product code 199 398 500 A.

"Without their curry sausage at 9:00 am, the employees would go on strike immediately," he says, only half joking.

AFP



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