I love European Christmas markets. For me, sitting around in the cold drinking mulled wine and gorging on comfort foods with your loved ones is the perfect way to embrace the darkest, coldest days of winter. We were lucky enough to stay at a hotel right next to the main market in Budapest, and we made a point to stop by and enjoy a treat every day that we were in town.
We made sure to enjoy a daily mug or two of mulled wine. It is the best way to stay warm, after all.
Then we’d browse the Christmas tchotchkes…and enjoy a gingerbread appetizer. The Budapest market had an array of delicious traditional Hungarian foods to choose from. Just looking at these stews made me feel warmer.Kevin drooled a bit over the spicy Hungarian sausages.
By far our favorite part of the market was the discovery of kurtosckalacs, or Hungarian stove cake. It’s made from a thin piece puff pasty twisted around a wooden spit. The spit is then rolled over a hard surface to flatten out the dough, and dipped in sugar. Then it’s roasted over an open flame, caramelizing the sugar and toasting the bread.
Once it’s all ready to go, customers choose a “topping” of cocoa, walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon or coconut (we went with cinnamon). The bread is then wrapped up in cellophane, and handed over to drooling patrons like ourselves. The way the dough is wrapped around the spit makes it easy to tear off bite sized pieces for easy sharing. We agreed that chimney cake might be the best dessert either of us have ever had.
Happy Holidays, everyone. I’m off for some more mulled wine…