Did You Know ...

Firewall painting of nationally beloved Queen Elizabeth, consort of Emperor Francis Joseph. (Photo Kőrösi Tamás, We Love Budapest)

Did you know…    

…that Hungarian desserts are famous all over the world? CNN Travel listed the 50 best desserts in the world.  On the list are the Turkish baklava, South American flan, Italian cannoli, and three Hungarian desserts: the Eszterházy torte, the kifli and the Rigó Jancsi.

The torte is a walnut based cake, filled with buttercream (or the modern whipped cream), covered with fondant, and topped with chocolate “spiderweb”.  It was named after Paul III Anton, Prince Eszterházy, whose favorite dessert was that cake.

The kifli is the crescent shape, soft dough pastry filled with preserves.

My most favorite is the Rigó Jancsi.  Between two fine layers of cake is a thick chocolatey whipped cream filling.  Oh, oh, good!!

 

... that part of Budapests’s 7th  District was also known as “Csikágó” (the Hungarian pronunciation of “Chicago”)?  It acquired that nickname in the late 1890’s, when a whole new section of apartment buildings was constructed in a record two years.  The speed with which the area was laid out and raised reminded people of the American “supercity”.  The apartments were intended for working people and minor civil servants, and consisted of merely one or two rooms, but the buildings sported fancy façades which still lend the district a distinct air. 

Christened Erzsébetváros in 1882, in honor of Queen Elizabeth, the nationally beloved wife of Emperor Francis Joseph, it became the historic Jewish section of the capital.  It is there that the largest functioning synagogue in Europe, that of Dohány Street, is located.  Today, the area has a number of firewall paintings (see the October 2018 issue of Magyar News Online), and is a tourist attraction with “ruin pubs”, and has become what one website calls “the heart of hip and bohemian Budapest”. 

... that a Hungarian missionary mapped the Amazon region in the18th century?  With the Amazon fires still drawing attention to that region, it is appropriate to remember the 325th anniversary of the birth of Brentán Károly (1694 – 1753), a Jesuit born in Komárom, who went to  work among the South American native peoples in 1722.  He learned many of the languages of those living along the Marañon, a major tributary of the Amazon River, and translated the catechism into their language.  He wrote a work on the missions, with his own illustrations, which unfortunately has been lost.  Only a detailed map from the planned 2-volume work has survived.