The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand


Enjoyed Again and Again and Again – our Currywurst

Last year, 6.8 million currywursts left the factory, and in the previous year it was 7.2 million. Inside observed how currywurst is made.

Exactly 45 years ago, Volkswagen employees were first served currywurst during their lunch break. Back then, the "Volkswagen Currywurst" – a bockwurst, not a bratwurst – was made on-site at the plant’s own butcher shop in Wolfsburg, as is still the case today.

This classic sausage weighs 170 grams, measures 25 centimeters in length and is sold in packages of five stamped with the "Originalteil" seal of quality. The bestseller is produced by around 30 employees, mostly butchers, in a small factory in the northeastern corner of the plant – in bulk, in enormous quantities.

Fresh pork is delivered three times a week. All locally sourced. Annually, it adds up to 15 to 20 tons. Two thirds of the pork is used to produce the currywurst. Andreas Klein weighs the meat and checks the quality and cut. Then he cuts the meat for subsequent grinding. The meat consists mostly of shoulder cuts without fat, bones or sinew. "Our currywurst has a fat content of only 20 percent. Normally, it's around 35 percent," explains Head Butcher Franco Lo Presti, who has been making currywurst since 1979.

The meat is ground in a cutter at high speed. A quarter of an hour later, the meat has been turned into a fine sausage mixture, 260 kilograms per working step. Mike Häge adds the spice mix from a blue sack. The raw currywurst mixture now looks like a yellow dough and contains the secret to the "Volkswagen Currywurst." Like the Coca Cola recipe, the recipe for the spice mix is strictly confidential. It has hardly changed since 1973. It was developed, presumably, by the head chef at the time. It definitely contains salt, pepper and ginger, and curry, of course – everything else is top secret!

Using a sausage filling machine, Marcel Krause feeds the sausage mixture into a cellulose sausage skin. The machine is labelled "Volkswagen Originalteil" in big white letters. Around 18,000 currywursts a day are processed there, usually by two machines. In the butcher’s shop there is a third filling machine – especially for the vegetarian currywurst.

The sausages are dried and smoked over beech wood – this gives them their smoky flavor. 3,680 currywursts, or more than half a ton of sausage, hang from the conveyor belt on the ceiling inside a cage. Jürgen Theuerkauf steers the cage into the smoking chamber. There the currywurst is cooked in steam at about 80 degrees Celsius. After 100 minutes, Theuerkauf moves the cages to the intensive cooler to preserve the currywurst.

The currywurst is still in one long piece of sausage skin, not yet separated. That happens at the "sausage separator." Sausage after sausage falls into a metal tub, and Bettina Fischer (left) and Iris Müller-Merk sort the currywurst into packages of five each, which are then sealed.

Final check – the five-pack goes through a metal tester, then Ingo Peters (left) and Gennaro Arpaia check that the packages are properly sealed, the labels are correct and the weight is what it should be. The finished five-packs of currywurst are then placed on pallets in red crates and are shipped to other Volkswagen locations and retailers.

Fascinating Facts

The "Volkswagen Currywurst" is more than just a sausage – discover a best-selling hit, it’s record-breaking length, its many varieties and what no currywurst should be without.