Hungariana

In Which Ariana Goes to Hungary. Obviously.

Tag: food

Things I’ll miss about Budapest

Lehel Market, in the northeastern section of central Pest, is one of my favorite markets. You can get everything there, and it’s very economical.

The meat counters. In the bottom left corner, you can see two people eating lángos, the delicious fried dough of Hungary. I could smell it from where I was standing.

The main market hall, where fruits and vegetables are sold. Unlike the big market, this one is mostly full of people from Budapest.

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Pálinka Festival

Pálinka is the national spirit of Hungary, and it’s a big deal here. The festival is held in the courtyard of the old Buda Castle (now the history museum/national gallery), and it was great fun.

On Castle Hill, waiting for the others to turn up.

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Apple-Camembert crepes

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After the Pálinka festival at Buda Castle last weekend, we took the metro to Batthyány Tér for crepes. Nagyi Palacsinta (Granny’s Pancakes) is this awesome crepe restaurant with about 15 kinds of savory pancakes and twice as many sweet ones. We ordered two apiece (I got chestnut cream and marzipan cream), but In the days afterward, I was crepe-obsessed. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. So when it was my turn to make dinner again, this is what turned up. They were absolutely delicious, and not at all hard to make, even without a blender. I present here a large recipe–it made enough dinner for three plus extra crepes for breakfast the next morning. They reheat remarkably well in a pan (best) or a microwave (ok) and since the crepes themselves are not savory, they lend themselves as well to nutella as cheese.

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A bear there was, a bear!

Oh Budapest. I will be very sad to go in two weeks. Friday afternoon I finished class at noon and took the bus downtown in search of a good guidebook for Istanbul (where I am going. In two weeks. So excited!). On my way back, I dropped by the Vásárcsarnok and picked up a giant bunch of medvehagyma. The word means bear onions*, but we call them ramsons, ramp, or broad-leaved garlic in English. If you’re ever lucky enough to find these near you, buy some. They’re garlicky and fresh and so delicious, so I thought I would share my totally improvised recipe for bear onion champ. You can replace the bear onions with any green, but it won’t be quite the same.

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Breakfast for dinner is totally legitimate.

These were such a brilliant idea, I could not believe I hadn’t thought of them before. The idea is very basic. Take a hollowed-out stale bread roll, fill it with an egg, and bake it in the oven.

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Vyšehrad (sound familiar?) and some more Prague

It just means ‘upper castle’, and the one in Prague is not quite so high or gothic as the one in North Hungary, but it does have some spectacular views.

I spent most of Sunday walking through the parks and gardens of Prague, inadvertently making a huge circuit of the city (over 10 k, I’m glad I brought my good shoes). It was kind of grey and gross that day so I didn’t try to photograph everything, but here’s a view from the park looking south up the Moldau:

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Tiny Kitchen Adventures

For a delicious meal: Take a small onion, or half of a medium one. Chop it up finely.

Even smaller than that.

(Above, my beloved Ikea chef’s knife aka GYNNSAM. Swedes are weird.)

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k+1 pigeons probably need a lot of birdseed

So this sounds pretentious, but there’s nothing quite like doing math homework to Beethoven piano sonatas. It makes me feel like I’m in a dramatic film about math and that I’m on the verge of a grand discovery, even though all I am currently discovering is how to avoid obfuscating language in my proofs.

I wanted to share this recipe that I have made twice in the past month, because it is so delicious and easy. It’s adapted from Smitten Kitchen, of course, but I have Hungarianized the original dish a fair bit. Also I added cinnamon because, to my mind, there is no better vegetable/seasoning pairing than tomatoes and cinnamon except possibly Brussels sprouts and bacon.

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Springtime (and spring break) in Budapest

Of course I had midterms this week. But we did manage to get a fair bit of touristing in all the same.

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Ricotta Apple Tart

We had some friends over on Saturday for a game night, and we had to serve them something, so Hannah bought some turo cheese and some apples and strudel dough, intending to make Hungarian-style rolled strudel. Somewhere in there it mutated a little and became this delicious but not-too-sweet flat tart. It took us about 25 minutes from start to ‘oh no, we only own 5 forks,’ to twelve happy people eating strudel with their hands. Highly successful. I have adapted the recipe for American cooking, but if in Hungary, read ‘turo’ for ‘ricotta’ (and if in England, quark will do). Yes, this is much simpler with a pastry brush, but you can use your clean hands if you have to. Read the rest of this entry »