IMO functional programming in general is still a largely acedemic CS territory.
There's the rub. Yes, currying is largely academic. Sure, you can't do it in C or C++ or Java (actually, I have my doubts about Java -- maybe you can make it work with anonymous classes).
That doesn't make it hard. That just makes it obscure.
map and grep are the same way -- at first, they look like inscrutable shorthand for a two- or three-statement for loop, but they're basically straightforward. You don't have to know a lot of theory to use map, or fundamentally change your outlook on programming. I think currying will turn out the same way.
Yours in pedantry,
"Anything you put in comments is not tested and easily goes out of date." -- tye