History: Three Innovative German Women in Food Business

henriette davidis german chefs female

Female German Chefs

Henriette Davidis work as one of the first female cookbook authors in Germany has an impact on German cooking culture until today. Here are three innovative German women in food business who have left a lasting impression until today:

Henriette Davidis

Born in 1801, Henriette Davidis is considered as the most famous German cookbook author. She was not only a culinary leader, but also a counsellor for all women’s issues. Next to writing books, she was also a governess and home economics teacher.

Davidis was said to be very open minded when it came to women and education. According to her, every woman should get a good school education and learn a serious profession. The fact that she was eager in using many modern kitchen aids and a newly invented meat extract showed, that she was anxious in giving women enough space in life to do things other than just preparing meals.

Due to the fact, that two of her fiances died before the marriage, she remained unmarried throughout her whole life.

Herta Heuwer

Herta Heuwer was born in 1913 and is considered as the inventor of the famous curry sausage. The former KaDeWe (one of the most famous department stores in Germany) saleswoman and former kitchen assistant opened her own kiosk in August 1949 in which she offered a Spezial Curry-Bratwurst (special curry sausage). In 1958, she registered her sauce Chillup at the German Patent office. Due to this fact, Heuwer is regarded as the inventor of the curry sausge until today – even though historian Petra Foede assumes that several Berlin sausage sellers had been involved in the development of the Currywurst, using various spice mixtures to search for a replacement for the ketchup that was not available in the early post-war period.

Melitta Bentz

Melitta Bentz was born in 1973 and is the inventor of the coffee filters. Back then, the methods used for drinking ground free coffee were ordinary funnels and filters made of textile or blotting paper, which first had to be cut out. The daugther of an accountant found a very easy method to avoid coffee grounds. She took the blotting sheets from her sons’ exercise books and placed them in a tin can. Before that she perforated the bottoms with her nails. This simple technique found general enthusiasm among her friends and she decided to market her idea.

On June 20 1908, the Imperial Patent Office (back then, Germany was an empire) granted utility model protection for her round filter with prefabricated filter paper.

Today, the Melitta Group is a global player with around 4500 employees in many different countries.

Featured images (cropped): Henriette DavidisPublic Domain/ Henriette Davidis Titelbild “Praktisches Kochbuch”Brunswyk Wikimedia – Public Domain

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