savoury treats, pogácsa

Just stop for a minute and imagine this: you are walking on the street – maybe you have an important appointment to get to, perhaps someone is waiting for you, in any case, you do not want to be late. But then you smell something amazing, and you cannot do anything but stop, turn around and go into the nearby bakery. Well, welcome to the world of Hungarian pastries. After last week’s introduction to sweet Hungarian pastries, now it is time for the savoury edition.

Just like in the case of the sweet Hungarian treats, savoury pastries are also very diverse, with all kinds of flavouring and fillings. Sour cream and cottage cheese are very often present in these snacks, while poppyseed is also a top contender. Leek and potatoes add to the delicious tastes and textures of our great pastries. Something every Hungarian knows is the delightful pogácsa that comes in many shapes and forms, and can be made from various ingredients – check out the recipe here.

Cheese sticks (sajtos stangli)

An everyday favourite is the cheese sticks. They are popular because they are really easy to make at home in just a short amount of time, while also tasting amazing. They are also available in most bakeries, in various forms. Either several tiny portions or one bigger cheese stick, you will not be disappointed.

cheese sticks, savoury pastry
Cheese sticks

The main ingredients are cottage cheese, some flour, salt, cheese, butter and one egg. The result is true crispy deliciousness. Sometimes you can find sesame seeds on top of them, which adds a bit of extra flair to this snack. They are often on the menu at family gatherings or when guests are expected, as something simple to munch on before or after the main course. Be careful, though – it is very easy to fill up on these.

Poppyseed sticks

poppyseed, savoury sticks
Poppyseed sticks
Photo: – Juditka konyhája

Just like in the case of sweet treats, poppyseed is a popular ingredient when it comes to savoury dishes. Foreigners might be surprised by the amount of poppyseed we use when baking, but it proves to compliment all the other ingredients well and helps bring out the tastes more. This recipe is similar to that of the cheese sticks’, except these tend to be formed in the shape of long and thin sticks, like the salt sticks you can get in the store.

pastry, poppyseed
Plaited loaf with poppyseed

Another delicious treat that can be made with poppyseed is the plaited loaf. Plaited loaves are another must for Hungarian households, especially for Easter. Poppyseed is just an extra ingredient to spruce it up a bit and make it more unique.

Kifli (crescent rolls)

These crescent rolls are popular all over Europe nowadays, rightfully so. The main ingredients are flour, water and yeast, and the result is a deliciously soft and tasty bread alternative. They are very nice to have with various soups or made into sandwiches – be it with sweet jams or cold cuts.

kifli, savoury pastry
Crescent rolls
Photo: – Lajos Pláner

There is a fascinating story connected to their first appearance. According to the legend, after the Turkish troops were stopped in Vienna in 1529, a baker celebrated the victory by baking some bread rolls in the shape of a crescent moon, evoking the Turkish symbol. It did not take long until the world recognised how good these rolls are.

Whichever you choose to try, enjoy.

For more news, check out this article about the most Instagrammed Hungarian foods.


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