You know what makes me really happy? Good, traditional foods prepared like how someones mother or grandmother would. You know what makes me even happier? When I stumble across good, traditional foods by pure accident. Especially when I’m unfamiliar with them! This happened to me on a Sunday a while back, when me and my boyfriend where on a search to find an extra long USB mini cable -for gaming, of course -. I knew there would be a little street market that day, but I didn’t know that I would be in for a little culinary treat! One that was also very welcome, since I was suffering from a severe case of wanderlust again.
While walking past the little stalls with homemade jams, organic honey and all sorts of vintage treasures, we passed a little stall that emitted the most amazing smell of fresh, sweet bread. The stall had a sign, which read Kürtőskalács. I had never heard of it, which made me all the more excited!
Kürtőskalács: Cake on a spit
There were some sort of bread-like rolls on sticks in the front of the stall. They also seemed to have a little BBQ going. The man behind the stall was spinning dough around a wooden spit and proceeded to put it over the hot coals. There, it turned slowly so the dough would cook evenly. A man next to me must have caught me staring in utter amazement, because he explained to me that these were so called Spit Cakes or Chimney Cakes. A delicacy from his country, Hungary, that I should definitely try. Well, you don’t have to tell me that twice!
There were three flavors to choose from: vanilla, walnut and cinnamon. Since I like trying new things in their pure form, we went for half a Kürtőskalác with vanilla flavor. We had to wait for it a little bit, as it was being made fresh. But I really didn’t mind, as watching the Kürtőskalács getting prepared was very interesting! In the meantime, I asked the lady from the stall how Kürtőskalács is pronounced. She pronounced it for me twice, but the word sounded so foreign to me that I couldn’t repeat it back to her. I loved it!
It’s actually pronounced like this. Try saying that five times fast!
After watching the dough slowly brown over the hot coals, our spit cake was ready for eating!
We excitedly pulled of a little bit of the sweet cake. The inside of it was warm and fluffy and the outside nice and crispy. And the taste? Nothing short of amazing! It reminded us a little of a croissant, but with a crispy, sugary layer. It tasted so good, that we actually regretted not getting a whole one!
I’m glad the people from this Kürtőskalács stall will be back in The Hague for the Royal Christmas Fair on the 15th of December, because I’m dying to have some more of this delicious Hungarian treat! If you are planning on going to the fair, definitely give it a try!
Have you ever had an unexpected food adventure? Let me know in the comments below!