A guide to the world of Hungarian pastry
Walking around any Hungarian city, you might notice the numerous bakeries and pastry shops that you pass basically on every corner. While we previously wrote about the famous cocoa rolls and our unique pogácsa, culinary pleasures do not stop there. There is much more to Hungarian pastries, and you will definitely want to try them as soon as you can.
Cottage cheese filling
Unlike most French pastries, for example, that have various cream fillings and are often covered in chocolate, Hungarian pastries are more reserved, certainly from the point of decoration – but the taste makes up for it all.
A true Hungarian favourite is the ‘cottage cheese bundle’ or ‘túrós batyu’. This is either made out of puff pastry or shortcrust pastry made with plenty of eggs.
The emphasis is on the filling, though – it is filled with a juicy cottage cheese filling with the addition of raisins.
This dessert can be found in any Hungarian pastry shop but make sure to pay attention when choosing your snack. The signs of a good cottage cheese bundle are that the pastry covers a generous filling, so it is still a bundle, and the filling is not visible – it will not be the same experience otherwise.
Hungarian pastries are often filled with various kinds of jams. While apricot jam-filled pastries are delicious, a sour cherry filling seems to be more popular. An excellent example of this is the delicious sour cherry tart that has been around for centuries. It originates from Austria but has become a true Hungarian favourite.
The sour cherry tart is made with a shortbread pastry that has a not-so-secret almond ingredient. Then comes the filling, in which the sourness of the fruit perfectly complements the sweetness of the pastry itself. At the top, slim strips of pastry are placed so that they form ‘grids’, explaining why the Hungarian name translates roughly to sour cherry ‘grids’ (meggyes rácsos). The tart version is perfect as a Sunday lunch dessert, while the more common ‘grid’ that is available in all bakeries is more of a quick snack – although a heavenly quick snack that is over too soon.
Poppyseed is a very often used ingredient in Hungarian cuisine, which might be a surprise for foreigners. Many of our desserts are made with poppyseed, including the famous mákos guba. However, a more accessible snack is the ‘poppyseed horseshoe’. This sweet pastry is shaped like a horseshoe and filled with either poppyseed or often with a walnut filling, or – guess what – it is often filled with both! One side is with walnuts, the other with poppyseed, so you get the best of both worlds.
Although you can get any of these pastries in any bakery or pastry shop you happen to spot – meaning they are available in most metro underpasses in Budapest -, for a more relaxed and a bit fancier experience, check out any of these 5 confectionaries.
Source: origo.hu, femina.hu