Budapest loves them, Prague loves them, Berlin loves them and even New York loves them – now it is Melbourne’s turn!
Our street food landscape in Melbourne is growing rapidly as we speak and vendors are finding exciting new products and ways to entice the audience. For dessert we are all familiar with French Crepes, American jam donuts, Spanish churros or even Greek donuts, but finally Melburnians can sample the famous Hungarian Donuts aka “Kurtosh”.
For the un-initiated: Hungary is a land-locked country bordering multiple countries including Austria, Czech Republic and Romania. It is famous for gigantic servings of gorgeous and hearty foods, like Goulash and Schnitzel, and they treat desserts with exactly the same respect.
Originally a favourite dish of the Hungarian aristocracy in the 1800s, the kurtosh (real name kurtoskalacs) is deeply embedded in the history and culture of Hungary. In the past 20 years however, its infamy spread across borders and it has become very much the “peoples’ pastry” throughout greater Eastern and Central Europe. Kurtosh (along with its relatives like Trdelnik) are now some of the most recognised European pastries, served from little vendor huts on street corners and at the many famous Winter markets.
So what makes it so popular as a street food? The pastries are handcrafted and baked fresh in front of your eyes. A milk bread dough is wrapped intricately around wooden pins and baked in a special rotisserie oven. What results is a very uncommon looking “donut” – long, twisted and cylindrical. The warm caramelized crust is then coated with your favourite topping like cinnamon, crushed walnuts, coconut or sprinkles. It is soft and doughy on the inside and because of its hollow shape can also be lined with spreads like Nutella or fruit jams (think of buttering bread – but from the inside!) They are warm and delicious straight from the oven and perfect for our impending gloomy Melbourne months.
Experience some authentic Eastern European food culture but without the airfare!
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