Better Know a Pastry: Good Eats in Budapest

17Aug10

The week before last, I was attending the 70th birthday conference for Endre Szemerédi in Budapest, Hungary. (His birthday is the same as my mom’s!?!) Afterwards we vacationed there for a few days including some spelunking, a massive spa, and lots of tasty food. One food item was particularly cool, kürtőskalács, which is a pastry that was rolled around a wooden cylinder and cooked over an open fire, kebab-style.  
Ours is the one on the left side in the picture above: the blotches are dried sour cherries (meggy) added to the dough. The centre one was on for a couple of minutes longer than ours, and the colour comes from sugar that they get coated in before cooking.

You can see the baker checking on our kürtőskalács in this picture. Behind him are some pans for the second sugar-bath (applied once they are done).

After baking, it was both delicious, and a hilarious prop! (Note: because the camera didn’t catch the steam coming out of the tube, the photos above have been “digitally enhanced.”)

Other recommendable good eats in town:

  • Kőleves Vendéglő / “Stonesoup” at Dob utca 26, good dinner and cheese graters used for lampshades
  • MO restaurant at Hercegprímás utca 3, close to the very touristy area but food is genuinely great
  • Ruben Étterem at Magyar utca 12, the goulash soup here and duck were especially tasty
  • Charlotte bakery/patisserie at Vámház körút 14. They have cakes (some including the famous sour cherries), savory pastries (cheese scones, sausage rolls), cookies, and all sorts of pastries. Delicious for dessert, breakfast, or any other time of day!

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One Response to “Better Know a Pastry: Good Eats in Budapest”

  1. That hit hard. I haven’t been back home in Hungary in over a year and miss these things quite a bit.


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