Can you say Kürtőskalács? I still struggle with the word. But it’s worth the struggle, because it’s a heavenly treat that you can find at every Hungarian festival. Thin yeast pastry dough is roasted on a tapered cylindrical spit over an open fire. The result is a hot, crispy, and flavorful outside with a soft and fluffy inside.
And for the first time this year, there was a Kürtőskalács festival in Budapest. To make it easier, you can also say Chimney Cake, but Hungarians won’t know what you’re talking about because I think English-speaking people made it up so we didn’t have to struggle with the actual word.
Ilona and I made plans to attend the festival and invited others from the office. A good crowd started arriving on Saturday night around 6:00 pm to celebrate and devour this tasty treat. The flavors offered were chocolate (my favorite!), cinnamon (my runner up), sugar, walnut, and coconut.
In addition to the star attraction, there were other food options, wine, beer, Pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy), and live music. What they lacked were enough Kürtőskalács stands. We had to wait a looooooong time, but in the end, we were rewarded with giant Kürtőskalács. We made sure that someone in the group ordered each flavor so everyone could try all five.
After our bellies were stuffed, we headed for one of my favorite wine bars, Kadarka. At some point, someone suggested karaoke, so off we went to sing tributes to Kürtőskalács. Well, not really tributes, just singing. And dancing. I even sang a number of duets with my colleague and fellow redhead Bob, including Summer Nights from Grease, one of my all time favorite movies.
Next thing I know, Áine was letting me know that she and Fabio were leaving. I looked at my watch and it was past 2:00 am! I walked home with them, since they live near me and the Metro had closed more than two hours earlier. It was quite a Kürtőskalács celebration!