Posts Tagged ‘kurtoskalacs’

I went to the Mangalica Fesztival again. It was very cold and snowing the whole time, but I thought it was better than last year. The primary reason is that it was at Szabadság tér instead of Vajdahunyad Vár. The bigger venue meant that it was much less crowded and I was actually able to see everything. I suppose the weather may also have negatively affected the turnout.

There was of course lots of food to eat, palinka to drink, and mangalica products to buy. There was also a live band and the usual handicrafts for sale. The only thing that wasn’t there was the bacon-chocolate stand. I was a little dissappointed, but I probably wouldn’t have bought any anyway.

I remember a number of cheese shops last time, but it seemed like there were even more this year. I was also unencumbered by children so I got to look at them all. Some had “sajtkifli”—little cheeses in the shape of croissants. I ended up buying some gorgonzola, some borkísérő, some very garlicy fresh cheese, and a sampler. I think I spent all the money I’ve been saving by living frugally. Oh well, it was probably worth it just to make Rachel jealous. :-)

Then I ate some fried sauerkraut. It was delicious and, for a little while at least, warm. As I was eating I watched the snowflakes fall on the table and stick. It was the first time that I can remember seeing snowflakes with the stereotypical shape. I’m used to tiny powder, massive mega-flakes, and melted flakes, but not the Christmas ornament type. They were about 5 millimeters across and very beautiful. Unfortunately no pictures turned out so you’ll have to imagine them.

After I set off for home I realized I had forgottent to eat any kürtőskalács! Instead I stopped at Deák tér and bought some there. It was probably cheaper that way, but I have to admit, not quite as fun.

Oh, I almost forgot. There were actual mangalica this time:

Roasting pigs

To be honest, I'm not sure these are mangalica. Notice the jet of steam coming out of a hole in the back of the closest.

Including a half a dozen kismalac:

Mangalica sow with piglets

When I was taking this picture a little girl behind me kept saying, "Pici, pici, pici," or "Tiny, tiny, tiny". Perhaps it would be better translated as "Wee, wee, wee."


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We made a mistake yesterday in going to the Mangalica Festival at noon.  There were far too many people for a comfortable festival going experience. Mangalica is a famous Hungarian breed (actually 3 breeds according to Wikipedia) of swine with curly hair. I wonder why everything here has long curly hair except the people: dogs, pigs, dogs, sheep

The weather was very nice (compared to the last few weeks) which no doubt contributed to the congestion. Even so, the crowd was ridiculous—Hungarians take their pork seriously. It took us 3 hours to walk from one end to the other and back around to where we started. Had there been no people the trip would have been a leisurely half hour. With all the people however, the lawn was a muddy mess and the stroller kept getting in the way. We had difficulty getting over to the side of the path to look at something in a booth; we kept getting swept along by the crowd.  It was pretty fun, but we’ll have to remember to come later in the afternoon next year.

Avery chickened out of riding a pony at the last minute again, and we chickened out of buying a Gulyás kettle. Other than that it was mostly food–we ate kürtőskalács (of course), had some milk, a bit of pizza, a turo rudi, and some Chocolitza.

That’s right, Chocolitza.

Chocolate flavored with rosemary or red chili peppers with bits of crunchy pig skin. It was actually much better than it sounds–which I realize is not saying much. Honestly, the worst part was psychological.

On a related food note, I recently bought some lo kolbasz. Kolbasz, as you may know is a type of sausage, and lo is a kind of animal which, to spare my siblings, I will make you look up yourselves. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it tasted like regular sausage, just a little spicier than usual.

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First, I would would be remiss if I did not inform the world that Gorgonzola in Marscapone Gelato is every bit as delicious as you might imagine. Overall it has a nice creamy taste with just the right hint of Gorgonzola to make it interesting. If you can’t imagine it, then I suggest you try it. I recommend Artigiana Gelati by Moszkva tér (they’re not open on Mondays).

Now on to the news.

At the beginning of the month we sent to SzeptEmber Feszt. This took place in Népliget, or people’s park, which is a large park in Pest containing a planetarium. It reminded of a fair without exhibits: lots of delicious expensive food, lots of stuff to buy, a carnival for the kids, and even a petting zoo with Avery’s favorite—llamas. They even had used book stands which is something I’ve never seen at an American fair.

They were several bands playing which is where we were introduced to Delhusa Gjon. Rachel and I both thought he was pretty good, and one of the band members was playing an electric mandolin, so that was neat. We’re pretty sure he performed Nika se perimeno which seems to be one of his first hits—from 1979. Incidentally, I think the title may be Greek, and may mean something like Nika, I Wait for You. Most of the lyrics are in Hungarian.  I have no idea what they mean.

The draw of SzeptEmber Feszt is the pörkölt. Pörkölt is translated stew, but to me stew is more soupy than pörkölt is. SzeptEmber Feszt has a big pörkölt cookoff, and they have several kinds that you can try (for a small fee). These include varied flavors as goat, goose liver, sturgeon and cock’s crest. We ate some of the official pincepörkölt főtt burgonyával (cellar stew with potatoes), some sauerkraut-ish pörkölt which was free, and some plum pörkölt which was the best but expensive (and not official). I’m not quite sure it was worth waiting in line for as long as we did, but it was good. They cook the pörkölt over little fires as you can see from last year’s pictures. We also had some kürtőskalács (of course) and got some helium balloons that Avery loved.

We had actually tried to go to SzeptEmber Feszt the day before we actually made it. We went too early in the day and nothing was really going on, so to salvage the trip we stopped by the Great Market Hall on the way home. We had heard it has a basement and, in fact, it does.  In said basement you can find fish, asian food, and pickled items of all sorts, as well as a cheese store and a Match grocery store. We bought a pickle stuffed with garlic, some sauerkraut, and some sauerkraut leaves so that Rachel could make stuffed cabbage a few days later. Mmm. Delicious.

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