There is a special Christmas bonbon which cannot be missing from the Hungarian Christmas trees. It is called “szaloncukor”, and Hungarians like to refer to it as a Hungaricum because it only exists in a few countries around the globe. Hungarian chocolate factories dazzle our taste buds with the most unique flavours each year. Szaloncukor is hard to resist as it tastes and looks amazing. But where does it come from and why do Hungarians spend billions of forints on it every year?
According to Sokszínűvidék, the beloved candy originally came to Hungary from abroad. They, however, highlighted the fact that the szaloncukor has changed so much over the years that it can be rightfully referred to as Hungaricum.
They wrote, that the paper-wrapped candy, which was originally filled with fondant made from sugary syrup, arrived to Hungary through the Germans. Hence, the name of the Christmas bonbon also comes from the German “salonzuckerl”.
In the past, the famous Hungarian writer, Mór Jókai called it “szalonczukkedli”, and by the end of the 19th century, szaloncukor became very popular in Hungary and the neighbouring regions.
In addition to being an important part of the Hungarian festive traditions, these edible Christmas tree ornaments are also present in the Romanian and Slovakian homes.
If you want to make szaloncukor by yourself, check out: DIY Hungarian treats for the Christmas season – RECIPES, VIDEOS
For a comprehensive history, visit: Hungarian szaloncukor: Who sneaks the candy from its wrapping?
According to the Nemzeti Agrárgazdasági Kamara’s (National Chamber of Agriculture) data, Hungarians purchase approximately 3,500 tonnes of szaloncukor every year.
They also added that a Hungarian household buys on average 1kg of szaloncukor each year. Some of the most popular flavours include jelly, marzipan, coconut, caramel and chocolate cream.
In total, this number adds up to over HUF 7 billion, or approximately EUR 19.5 million every single year.
Sokszínűvidék also highlighted, that with the exception of 2020, the number of szaloncukor being sold is showing a continuously growing tendency. It is one of the most popular seasonal products around Christmas time.
Each year the range of flavours also seem to be expanding. This year, producers entered the “Az Év Szaloncukra” (Szaloncukor of the Year) competition with a whopping number of 152 flavours.
Source: sokszinuvidek.24.hu, Daily News Hungary