The next day cure and beach food. Lángos
They say that the most traditional place to eat lángos is at Lake Balaton beaches while sunbathing in the summertime. If you have ever read about lángos and tried them on a windy summer day, you might wonder how that is possible, Fried in oil, topped with garlic, sour cream, and a generous layer of cheese, it is no beach food at all, but not for Hungarians for whom it is the most praised tradition of all.
I had a list of foods I needed to try while in Hungary and lángos was one of them (just for everone who said I could not count being in Hungary if I didn’t try lángos) but to find a good one, you have to know where to go. We stood in line in the Grand Central Market to get one when we suddenly discovered a lack of cash, and we left (yes, you can take money out in ATMs at the market, but the exchange rate is terrible).
Our trip had one day left, and I was still looking for a lángos – proper, simple, and tasty, although I had no idea what I had to look for. We walked around Fény Utca (market) when a lángos spot appeared with a line of 10 people, and no one was speaking English. I felt it was the right place to stop and have one, so we did. Freshly fried, hot as burning stone, topped with garlic, and handful of grated cheese (just one hour after breakfast). I said to Armands that I would have a bite, just to try it. I had at least eight, it was that good.
I heard someone say that lángos is best bought where it is made close to where you are standing – that means a lángos stand and most preferably, but almost impossibly, on an open fire like they used to do. Actually, in Hungarian, lángmeans flame – hence the name lángos. Today, as with many things, this fatty and addictive food is slowly disappearing as people want less fat and less everything, but there are places where good old-fashioned and decent lángos are served. Yet, since it has begun to disappear, chefs all over Hungary are trying to reanimate its reputation by serving smaller and more elegant but still very hearty portions of lángos, because lángos is here to stay, no matter what, just like every fatty and traditional food all over the world.
Traveling to Hungary in cooperation with Embassy of Hungary to Latvia
Story and pictures: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s