I bought Culinaria Hungary for Rachel’s birthday and it contains a recipe for Kovászos Uborka—which being translated means leavened cucumbers. This is allegedly a favorite summer treat of Hungarians, and indeed, the neighbors downstairs made some (we saw them on the porch in a massive jar).
Essentially, you put gherkin cucumbers in a jar with some dill and garlic. Stick a slice of bread on top and pour warm salty water over it. Then you let it ferment in the sun for several days, and voilà! Fresh gherkins to be served ice cold without the brine. The juice is quite refreshing and apparently is also good when diluted with soda water. The garlic slices come out great—even though they don’t even taste like garlic anymore.
I told my adviser that we made kovászos uborka so that he would know what happened if we died. He said that we probably wouldn’t die, but they can be both over and under done. I guess we did okay since they seem pretty tasty to me.
We eat the gherkins on sandwiches and hamburgers, which is probably heretical, but extremely tasty. Now, to make sandwiches you need bread, and what better way to buy bread than 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) at a time? At least that’s what we decided on the advice of our old landlord. The bread, known as peasant bread, is quite good—soft and spongy, but we ended up eating a lot of bread for a few days. It may be a while before we buy another full loaf—luckily they sell half and quarter loaves.