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The queen of winter delicacies: the chimney cake not to be missed

As Advent approaches, the tempting smell of kürtőskalács (chimney cake) fills the air in central Budapest. This wonderful delicacy – now recognised as a hungaricum – has its origins in Transylvania’s Sekler Land, and no one who has ever tasted it can resist it. It’s no wonder then that there is always a long queue outside chimney cake stalls! The unmistakable smell will win over even those who see the metal spikes turning over the embers for the first time.

Visitors strolling around Vörösmarty Square are in luck, as three of the most highly regarded chimney cakes in town can be tasted within meters of one another. Vitéz Kürtős first started making this traditional cake in Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) as a family business. The same recipe, passed down from grandparents and parents, has been used up to this day. If you happen to visit the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square, you can taste it, too.

Auntie Kato’s are likewise delicacies. “You cannot buy happiness. But you can buy chimney cake and that is almost the same.” Auntie Kato and her people share this old wisdom. They are not afraid of change, though. Year after year, they bring new varieties of chimney cake to their customers, such as the ice-cream-filled chimney cake – which rapidly became a hit with tourists.

If you’ve wandered around the Christmas market for a while and start to feel cold, Molnár’s Kürtőskalács also has a café with a welcoming, nice atmosphere. The shop is open until late in the evening on the corner of Vörösmarty Square, and offers a selection of delicious coffees, as well as eight different types of the traditional cake to choose from. If you already have a Budapest Card Plus, all the better, as you can do so free of charge.

Chimney cake is an essential feature of Hungarian Christmas markets, so no matter where you are in the city, you are bound to bump into a stall sooner, rather than later. Just follow your nose and the heavenly smells!

More information about Budapest Christmas Fair

Photo: BFTK, Wineflow – Kató Boglárka

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