Treat yourself to a Túró Rudi!
Túró Rudi is a dark chocolate bar ('rúd') filled with cottage cheese ('túró'), immensely popular in Hungary and available in a variety of flavors. The classic bar comes in red and white polka dot (pöttyös) packaging. Additionally there are different flavors, although less popular. Walnut, peanut, apricot and cherry flavored Rudis, as well as vitamin enhanced versions are also offered.
The history of Túró Rudi goes back to the 60's, when a small group of Hungarian dairy industry professionals came up with the idea of a new chocolate treat. The product became popular overnight, sales skyrocketed and consumers couldn't get enough Túró Rudi. Demand quickly outgrew the original production line and they had to expand to a new factory dedicated to producing the Rudis. Túró Rudi was mentioned on several TV shows and famous Hungarian musicians and celebrities were spotted eating it. The popularity of the delicious chocolate bar spread like fire (the early form of viral marketing) without any advertising, not that there were too many advertising opportunities in Hungary in the 70's and 80's.
Despite the fact that it didn’t have any competition in the 1980's, Rudi was given the marketing slogan 'Pöttyös, the real thing' ('Pöttyös az igazi!'). We will never know whether it was sheer marketing genius or pure coincidence, but the slogan is still viable today in a saturated market segment, capturing the essence of "Rudi-ness".
Since 2004, Pöttyös is widely available in Europe, under the brand name 'Dots'. The version sold in Western Europe is sweeter than the original and it also comes in a milk chocolate coating.
In Hungary Túró Rudi area managers drive polka dot decorated Mini-s, as part of a marketing agreement with Mini.
Where to buy?
Túró Rudi is available in all supermarkets in the dairy aisle, so be sure to try one on your next trip to Hungary. It's one of my favorites.