Europe itself is really famous for its Christmas market – and at this time of the year, as we all gather to share moments with family members and friends, too – most of us will, of course, eat, drink, and consume lots of Christmas sweets.
When thinking about this special holiday, I always smell orange, apple, cloves and cinnamon in my nose.
But what are the most famous Xmas flavors in Hungary?
The most common dessert during this period is the so-called bejgli. It is a pastry roll, mainly filled with walnuts (this is against the hex), or poppy-seed (this brings wealth), but as a new trend, it can also come with chestnut, cherries, dried plum, or even a mixture of these. The savoury flavor of choice is cabbage. There is no Christmas meal without the home-made bejgli on grandma’s table. According to history, this tradition was acquired from the Austrians, who themselves got it from the Germans in the 19th century.
If you have been cruising around Andrássy Boulevard, or you’ve taken the metro from Deák Square, you have already seen and smelt the world-famous chimney cake (kürtőskalács) – my real favorite. It’s a hot pastry, roasted on a wooden stick. It can be rolled in walnut, coconut, cinnamon, cocoa, and – according to the new trend – in raspberry crumbs. It costs the equivalent of 1 to 3 Euros. It’s quite a cheap treat to kids and adults at the same time.
Gingerbread is essential at Christmas time and super easy to prepare. It’s ingredients are flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, margarine, eggs, honey, milk and orange peel. These need to be mixed then the mixture chilled. After that, roll the dough and use different figures to cut pieces out. After this, bake for 1 hour at 160 celsius. They keep good for a long time!
When mentioning Xmas flavors, we should not forget about beverages. It’s always great to have a plum flavor tea with all these treats, but if you don’t mind alcohol, then it is a great idea to make or buy some mulled wine/hot wine/glühwine. This is basically wine (can be white, red or even rosé) with added sugar, cinnamon, orange, and some cove). It really goes well with all the formerly mentioned desserts.
All of these you can actually taste at the Xmas markets of the city. You can find them set up always at the Vörösmarty, near the St. Stephen’s Basilica and at the Deák square from early December.