Cleveland, America mourns Hungarian pastry expert
The founder of the American Farkas Pastry Shop passed away to the greatest dismay of the community, as Szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu reports.
Attila Farkas, 83, was one of the most beloved figures in Cleveland, Ohio, as football coach and the founder of a local pastry shop. Attila was born in Budapest but moved to the States during the communist-socialist regime in Hungary. At first, the family – already in the catering business in Hungary – opened a pastry shop offering mainly local sweets to the public, but they were not successful.
The true success of the family came when they opened a shop specialising on Hungarian pastries.
It quickly spread that Hungarians love to eat good food and the catering unit became so successful that the family became an integral part of the community. Attila, a “master of Hungarian pastry”, as Cleveland.com reports, was loved by many people, especially Mike Harrison, who currently runs the Farkas Pastry Shop.
He says that Farkas became like a father to him as he taught him all his recipes and worked with him in the shop, which eventually became the highlight of his week.
“So many people loved him,” Harrison said. “Old ladies would come in with hearts in their eyes. Attila could be abrasive, but he just melted into a sweetheart when a customer was there. He was so much larger than life … He made people feel good about themselves. What more can you say about a person?” – told Harrison in an interview to Cleveland.com.
Locals were so distressed by the death of the native Hungarian pastry-master that they planned an informal public memorial. The bakery’s Facebook page received more than 100 entries of condolence in a day following his death.
Here are a few of the caring and sad comments:
“I remember going to his shop around the corner when I was a girl with my parents,” wrote Marge Williams. “We all spoke in Hungarian. He was so nice and charismatic. Lovely man. If I tell Mom, she will cry.”
“To have fed so many people, and warming us all with his conversation, Attila, a glass of Tokay [Hungarian wine] in your honor this weekend. You gave us so much.”
Besides being so influential in terms of gastronomy, he also had an impact in the sports life as an assistant soccer coach for more than a decade.
The shop’s window looked to a soccer field, which Farkas eventually started to visit to practice with the team. Staff and players of the team were, of course, warmly welcome in the pastry shop to eat and talk.
“Find any Ignatius soccer player from the 1980s, and you’ll get a big smile on face if you mention Attila Farkas,” added Muhoray, a friend close to the family. “He was tough, funny, smart, had wit, and the Hungarian accent made it all that much better. He wasn’t our parent, our teacher. He could give it to you straight.”
If you feel like preparing some authentic and traditional Hungarian desserts or cakes at home, take a look at the numerous recipes we have shared on our website. Check out how flódni, somlói galuska or Esterházy cake is made – or do something special with pálinka!
Featured image: www.facebook.com/pg/farkaspastryshop
Source: Szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu, Cleveland.com