Snacks at Sziget Festival 2015

Sziget Festival blew my socks off this year. I was very impressed. It seems like this massive, weeklong, multicultural party gets bigger and bigger each year. If you’re a music lover (or, more generally, if you don’t hate a good time) and you haven’t been before, go. Take a train, plane, car to Budapest, then the boat or…

Late-Night Chicken Döner at Szeráj

There is a rich tradition of after-hours kebabs in the city of Budapest. Between 3 and 7 a.m. you’ll find pockets of youth huddled around a gyros stand, clutching a steamy meat-filled pita in their palms as if it were the Baby Jesus, putting on pause all chatter about what went on that night –…

Duck-Filled Decadence at Budapest Bägel

Lots of interesting things have happened in Budapest’s food scene as of late. Grandma-style classics and modest street food snacks have been reinvented and made trendy at new restaurants and gastropubs. “Locally sourced, sustainable and organic” is a thing. There’re food trucks, craft beer and foodie hashtags (like #mutimiteszel) to make sharing food finds easy. All that…

In Hungary, it’s the lángos…

Pretty much every nation of people on this planet has a version of deep fried dough of which they are fiercely proud, one which they insist is unique and different from all other versions. India has the paratha, the puri, the vada. Bulgaria has the mekitzi. Turkey has lokma. In France it’s the sweet goffre. It’s akara in West Africa, bannock in Canada, frybread for…

Hungarian Favorites: In the Kitchen with Grandma

As another summer approaches I instinctively get to thinking about returning to Hungary to visit the family and sinking my toes into the sodden, silken sludge of Balaton Lake. I think perhaps too much about where and what I’d like to eat: velős pirítós (herbed calf brain on toast) in Balatonfüred with a crispy cool glass of Irsai…

Pig Becomes…

“It’s tomorrow morning,” came her voice through the speaker. I sat up and pressed the phone harder against my ear. “And Lili, listen: It’s exactly what you want.” “Tomorrow? But I still need to get out there…” “It’s worth it. Trust me, they hardly ever do it like this anymore!” At 6 a.m. the next day I’m…