Hung(a)ry? Try this!

Simon Tofield Simon's Cat for Magazine interview. 24 October 2009The Danube region is known for its cultural diversity. The mixture of people from different countries, speaking different languages, having different religions and beliefs left an impact on the area. But, the full picture might not be as easy to grasp. As much as it is a zone where people interact, it is also an area filled with conflict. The Danube can be seen as a link or as a bother depending on the aspects considered. It is both throughout history, but now it has been tamed by humans. The mixture became less visible to the open eye and the areas where you can really grasp what the ‘Danubians’ were like in the past are remote.

During this summer school we tried to look at the culture and immerse ourselves in the region by interacting with people who came in London from there, attending talks and even by learning a bit of the language of one of the countries through which the Danube flows. However, the sum of a culture is composed of many small things put together as well. We experience the world through our senses and this post proposes a different way of experiencing a small bit of the Hungarian culture. The following lines will form a recipe of some Hungarian sweets. This recipe was passed down in my family from Hungarian relatives and it is fairly easy to make. It might not be the most impressive or representative, but it carries in itself memories of generations and represents the way in which the culture used to spread in the Danube area. While maybe a main dish would be more appropriate, sweets are more of an indulgence and are usually baked with the intention of sharing. So, this is a way in which whoever wants to smell and taste a bit of Hungary can do so while also sharing it with others. The Danube is after all a zone of bonding and interaction.

Havasi Kifly (a type of croissants)


600 grams of flour

1 pack of Margarine (250 grams)

200 ml of milk

40 grams of yeast

1 spoon of sugar

A pinch of salt

How to prepare:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Start kneading the resulting dough thoroughly.
  3. Cover the bowl, place it in the fridge and let it to ferment for 30 minutes.
  4. Spread the dough on a surface.
  5. Cut it into equally sized squares.
  6. Place marmalade, jam or cheese in the middle.
  7. Roll the square diagonally and tuck in the corners so the filling will not spill.
  8. Place baking paper into a tray.
  9. Place the buns in the tray.
  10. Put in a pre-heated oven at medium-high temperature until golden (approx 30 min).
  11. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top (if filled with jam or marmalade).

Jó Étvágyat! (~ Bon appetit!)

Andreea Rimboiu