Mikszáth’s palóc soup and Jókai’s bean soup are now valued dishes of Hungarian cuisine, but culinary delights often appear in the works of other significant writers as well. Let’s see some of them!

The figure of Gyula Krúdy is unavoidable if we examine the relationship between literature and gastronomy. According to legend, the writer was able to take a train and travel all night to the highlands of Poprad to eat a good grounding. He could write about even the simplest dishes as if they were heavenly dishes, be it stew or carp, roast duck(There is no end to the road, word, marriage deliberation), or stuffed cabbage. In his writings, mostly middle-aged men who have passed the prosperous lordshipthesoup, tapping the marrow bone. as a basis) or take the knife out of pocket to twist one of the pointed strong peppers. He preferred to spend time in Óbuda and the small pubs in Tabán, and allegedly did not like to talk about anything other than women at the table – no matter how much about them. Of course, the Krúdy splatter also helped: 1 dl of soda mixed with 9 dl of wine. According to its namesake, the role of water is just to “make wine laugh”.

Krúdy was not the only writer to worship gastronomy in the early 20th century. We know from Carinthia, for example, that he ate sausage rings between two meals, and Móricz perpetuated binge eating even in the Tragedy and the Brightness. Kosztolányi was a vegetarian, or as he was said at the time, a “puppeteer”, but he also wrote the experience we had (Omelet á la Woburn) when we didn’t even know what we had ordered when we went to a pucca restaurant abroad, but we are right about the final bill.

Turtle soup and jelly jelly

The editor-in-chief of the West, Ignotus, did not give it below in a full cookbook. In 1901, at the invitation of the weekly Seven, women and gentlemen who loved to cook sent in their “lovely recipes,” from which Ignotus, under the pseudonym of Emma, ​​compiled a cookbook. However, the book is much more than a simple collection of recipes: an imprint of “happy times of peace,” with the many colors of the gastronomy of the Monarchy and its now unrepeatable recipes. Because who is going to make turtle soup or make jelly? Or where are the Catherine Day fairs in Alvin, where the housewives obtained the visas? Or who now recognizes on which leg a bird named a prisoner sat while he lived? (Supposedly fried is the tastier.)  Of course, Ignotus, or Ms. Emma, ​​added her own remarks to the recipe, such as the need to keep up with the age of stew making: “ It’s important, although the shepherd doesn’t cook the potatoes separately. After all, we don’t even cook it in a cauldron, we pour it into suba, and we wipe it off its skin with bread. ” As Iván Bächer (who himself likes to write about food ) puts it in the preface to the book: “the diversity of this book is most dazzling; from the cuisine of the magnates to the food of the peasant peasants, from the Serbian peppers to the Jewish delicacies, the tastes, flavors and smells of all the peoples and landscapes of the whole prosperous Hungary and the entire prosperous Monarchy flow from this book ”.

Fried soup = normal life

“Normal life is what fried soup is in the food, ” wrote Béla Hamvas, who already had a lot to say about the philosophy of wine. “ One can eat at any time of the day, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, hot, lukewarm, or cold, ” the writer goes on to list the virtues of fried soup, adding that in some women’s fried soup “the taste of Mother Earth is definitely recognizable ”. French salad, stuffed duck, pate? Each “ is full of hindsight;  complex works, foods with many layers, they can’t even express themselves at once. ”  It seems to Hamvas, who professes simplicity, that they would have offered these dishes in vain.

“Cooking” in the camp

In György Faludy’s novel on autobiography, in my comedy days in Hell, it is not the food but the lack of hunger that appears several times. After the writer emigrated to France in 1938, he was unable to take a job, so he and his wife lived on a cornfield for months and starved with his fellow prisoners in the Recsk forced labor camp. They tried to defend themselves against hunger by talking about literature, history, philosophy. The fact that they talked about food and recipes helped others to survive. István Örkény repeatedly wrote about the ordeals he had suffered in captivity, including the constant starvation and the bread he shared with his peers or the side into bacon. the importance of remembering. Because prisoners of war often cooked in their imagination: “ they spend an hour, two, or more discussing Serbian letcha, real, teardrop, or skimmed pasta as they are made on the Tiszahát, with peach flavor. The atmosphere becomes almost passionate, you always have to bid on the last one… “Call Tóth…” Jóska Tóth, an iron from Diósgyőr. Why does Tóth need this? “Because it’s beautiful to say bird milk… “

Of course, our contemporary writers don’t lag behind when it comes to writing about food. András Cserna-Szabó published several books on the subject (Ede in the soup, Rézi in the marinade, 77 Hungarian tripe ), but Krisztián Grecsó also captured his mother’s first cake, an unspoiled but “redefined” Isler. György Dragomán is a passionate chef, and his personal accounts can be read on social media and in the Cookbook. And the recipe for duck lily, traditional Transylvanian zucchini, or tarragon-tomato lentil soup is sure to make us want to make these – I can attest – divine dishes.


I'm a content writer and writing for 5 years for multinational companies.

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