DAY NOUGHT – Countdown to the Grand Depart

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish enjoying the Pyrenees (c) Meirion Harries

One day to go. I’m spending my time stretching and eating currywurst – Berlin’s favourite fast food. Berliners eat over 70 million currywursts a year – and, astoundingly, a further 730 million currywurst are eaten by people in the rest of Germany.

You will be interested to know that there is a strong British connection here. In 1949, a lady in Berlin, Herta Heuwer, was given curry powder by some British soldiers. She mixed it with tomato ketchup, spread it on Bratwurst and sold the result on her food stall. So successful was her Gemisch that she was eventually selling 10,000 currywurst a week.

One of the things that irritates me most is when a celeb chef visits somewhere and has the temerity to give his/her ‘take’ on the local speciality. So, to perpetuate the irritation, here’s my ‘take’ on currywurst – good Bratwurst in a sauce of tomato ketchup, smoked paprika with a dribble of balsamic vinegar, served on a bed of basmati. Though you have to prepare this sauce in proximity to a packet of curry powder if you want to call it currywurst.

So – until tomorrow when we set of on a route that has been kindly mapped by Jamie Macdonald – who is also a generous donor to the St Martin’s project.