Kürtőskalács is a sweet, spiral-shaped pastry that originated in Transylvania. It’s also known as ‘chimney cake’, because of its unique shape. Making kürtőskalács requires some dedicated tools, including wooden spits and a special oven, so it’s not something that most Hungarians bake at home. The following photos of kürtőskalács in the making were taken in Visegrád, at a mobile vendor.
First, a yeast-based dough is made. Then the dough is rolled out and cut into long, thin strips. The strips are then rolled onto a wooden cylinder. Brushed with oil and covered with sugar, the pastry is put into a special oven and rotated until it’s baked and the sugar has caramelized. When done, it’s golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You can eat it plain or rolled into various toppings, like cinnamon, almonds or walnuts.
I hope these photos whet your appetite for kürtőskalács and you’ll try one when visiting Hungary. Kürtőskalács, usually sold by street vendors, is commonly found at festivals and fairs throughout Hungary, and it's a favorite street food of Christmas Markets.
Photos by Zizi