Sixth Pálinka Festival in Linden, NJ

viola vonfi

Sixth Pálinka Festival in Linden, NJ

Although advertised as a ”pálinka festival”, the variety of Hungarian specialties would have made a first-class restaurant proud!  Yes, pálinka was also available for tasting, especially later on in the day when a ”pálinka király” was chosen (the idea was NOT to gulp down as much pálinka as possible!)

But from noon on there was a never-ending line for sült kolbász and hurka,  pecsenye,  töltött káposzta, paprikás csirke, gulyás leves, székely káposzta, disznó pörkölt nokedlivel, káposztás tészta, lepcsánka (hash browns) and palacsinta. (Makes your mouth water, just to list them!)

To close the meal, the kürtős kalács was also popular.  There were no other baked goods.

Considering that all the food was prepared by club members, who started to prepare a week ahead of time, it is amazing what they produced!

Gypsy music, dance music, Transylvanian folk music provided a constant background for the festivities.  Orbán László & Barátai Band, Örökzöldek and the Életfa Folk Band entertained the participants in turn.  When they took a break, DJ Peter Sigari filled in.  A Retro Disco was also on the program.

Folk dancers from Hungary – the Messzi néptáncegyüttes – dazzled the participants. I understand a couple will be teaching dance at the Hungarian school.  After 7 PM, a táncház was held inside the building.

There was a special tent for the children, who had their own entertainment and for whom hot dogs and hamburgers were on the menu.

There were tents for selling Hungarian items, including candles and mézeskalács (honey cakes), and István and Ildikó Vass were there with their homemade kolbász, szalonna and töpörtyüs pogácsa.

It was amazing to see only 8-10 people active in the kitchen!  It just goes to show what a few people can accomplish when they cooperate for a common cause!

The Pálinka Festival had something for every age group, and was a huge success!  Congratulations to the Magyar Kerekasztal Társaság!  May they continue their great undertaking for many more years to come!

viola vonfi is our correspondent from Stamford, CT.  She finds it amusing that one of her ancestors was knighted by Wallenstein during the Thirty Years’ War.