Ketwurst: a GDR sausage snack

Alain Snack bar, Berlin - serves up the GDR snack known as Kettwurst (or Ketwurst)

Fancy an authentic taste of the GDR?

Alain's Snack Bar in Prenzlauer Berg not only dates back to the days of East Berlin, but still serves the socialist-era treat known as Ketwurst.

Consisting of a sausage slathered in ketchup and squeezed into a hollowed-out roll, Ketwurst first appeared on the streets of East Berlin some time in the late '70s - then disappeared almost entirely following reunification.

typical Berlin snacks - Ketwurst, Berlin's GDR fast food
Fancy a GDR alternative to the currywurst? Alain Snack Bar, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Despite looking similar to an American hot dog, the preparation process is far more elaborate, with the long bread rolls skewered on heated spikes in order to create the, erm, sausage-receiving orifice.

And although the ketchup (a secret concoction) is unusually tangy, it's not as spicy as a regular Currywurst sauce.

In other words, this retro GDR treat is something entirely unique, and Alain's Snack Bar is one of very few places where you'll still actually find it.

See also:
Berlin's weirdest local delicacy
Alternative sightseeing in Prenzlauer Berg
Kottbusser Tor's hidden bars

Further facts

While just about everyone loves a Ketwurst, there's less agreement regarding exactly how it's spelt.

You'll see it written with both a single and double 't' - variations that make quite a difference to the supposed origin of the name.

Ketwurst is an amalgam of 'Ketchup' and 'Wurst', while Kettwurst is said to derive from the fact that the sausages used are linked together in chains (Kette).

Whichever spelling you prefer, you'll end up with the same sausagey treat (although these days Alain's also serves it in Bio and tofu varieties). Remember to grab plenty of napkins - that ketchup has a habit of dripping everywhere.

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Alain Snack: Schönhauser Allee 116A, 10437 Berlin

Opening times: Mon-Thur, 9am-10pm; Fri, 9am-9.30pm; Sat, 10am-10pm; Sun, noon-10pm

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