Szaloncukor, the Hungarian Christmas Candy

4 comments Posted by: Roberta Gyori

In Hungary no Christmas tree is complete without szaloncukor, a traditional Christmas candy wrapped in a twist of brightly colored foil tasseled at both ends. It’s very much a seasonal candy, so you know that Christmas is around the corner when stores begin selling szaloncukor by the kilo.

Szaloncukor

Szaloncukor at the Christmas Market

For Hungarians, Christmas without szaloncukor is like Halloween without candies. Kids in Hungary love szaloncukor and most Hungarians have fond memories of Christmas past with family dinners, opening presents and decorating the Christmas tree with szaloncukor. Not only does szaloncukor make a great tree ornament, it’s also a sweet delight. As kids, part of the fun was to eat szaloncukor off the tree and leave the empty wrapper to make it look like it’s still filled with candy.


Szaloncukor

Christmas tree decorated with szaloncukor

The origin of szaloncukor is surrounded by uncertainty, but we know that it was originally a soft, hand-crafted fondant made from flavored candied sugar. Some date it back to 14th century France when, according to sources, French chefs mastered the technique. The tradition to decorate Christmas trees with szaloncukor dates back to the Habsburg Monarchy, when wealthy families started to erect Christmas trees decorated with candies in their ‘salons’. Candy is Zucker in German, hence the name Salon Zucker or szaloncukor in Hungarian.

Szaloncukor became popular in Hungary at the beginning of the 19th century, when Hungarians adopted the tradition and famous Hungarian confectioners like Gerbeaud and Stühmer began to create their own recipes. A cookbook dating back to 1891 lists no less than 17 different recipes for making szaloncukor. By the end of the century these once hand-made candies were being mass produced in large quantities.

Szaloncukor

Szaloncukor at Szamos

Today, szaloncukor looks more like a truffle or a chocolate covered bonbon, and it comes in a delicious assortment of flavors and fillings, ranging from chestnut to the popular jelly filled variety. While some szaloncukor is good for decoration only, you will find that brands like Szamos and Stühmer still make quality szaloncukor that’s a real treat.

While it may be an acquired taste, it's definitely worth trying one of the many varieties of szaloncukor. A good place to buy it is the Budapest Christmas Market.


You are reading: Szaloncukor, the Hungarian Christmas Candy
Posted in: Budapest Blog & Articles  Category: Made in Hungary

Sharing is Caring:

tags: hungarian products christmas

  1. JERRY HELD opines:

    HELLO, MY BROTHER IN LAW REMEMBERS GROWING UP WITH HIS MOTHER MAKING HIM CANDY HUNG ON TREES. IT WAS WHITE PUT IN A PAN AND INCORPERATED WITH CHOPPED WALNUTS.HE THINKS IT WAS A LEMON FLAVORED BUT ITS BEEN SO LONG HE IS NOT SURE . IF ANYBODY HAS A RECEIPE FOR THAT CANDY I WOULD BE FOREVER GRATEFUL. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME . JEERY HELD

  2. christian opines:

    Hi i was just woundering can you buy these lollies anywhere in australia

  3. francine opines:

    Combine the sugar, milk and water in a ceramic pot over the stove burner. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring slowly. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer without stirring for 3 minutes. Pour into a heat-proof glass dish. (Don’t scrape the pot – it will cause the sugar to crystallize!) Add 2 & 1 TBSP of unsalted butter, and the desired flavoring(s). Stir with a wooden spoon until it turns white and stiff. Then pour the mass onto a damp napkin (cotton or kitchen towel), form into a rectangle about 3 inches thick. Let it stiffen a bit more, but before it becomes completely hard, cut into shapes with a wet knife (squares or rectangles, the rectangles are easier to eventually wrap).
    Flavorings: In place of the water, I use coffee or orange juice. For the chocolate version, along with the butter I add a level TBSP of cocoa powder and a half teaspoon of vanilla.
    In the past, this was the only way szaloncukor was made. Dipping and covering the candy with chocolate has become popular only in the last 20-30 years. The plain or chocolate covered squares (or sometimes brick shapes) are wrapped first in rectangular pieces of white tissue paper – with frilled ends – and then the center portions in colored foils. Yield: approximately 30-35 pieces.@JERRY HELD - @JERRY HELD -

    @JERRY HELD: HELLO, MY BROTHER IN LAW REMEMBERS GROWING UP WITH HIS MOTHER MAKING HIM CANDY HUNG ON TREES. IT WAS WHITE PUT IN A PAN AND INCORPERATED WITH CHOPPED WALNUTS.HE THINKS IT WAS A LEMON FLAVORED BUT ITS BEEN SO LONG HE IS NOT SURE . IF ANYBODY HAS A RECEIPE FOR THAT CANDY I WOULD BE FOREVER GRATEFUL. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME . JEERY HELD

  4. Tibor opines:

    Thank You for the Information and I will shared with some friends that interested since they didn’t know.

Leave a Comment


 

*One + one = (3 characters required)

Preview:

 

Remember:

Be nice

Only use regular HTML stuff like:

Allow 3 minutes between posts

* = Required field

You may also be interested in:

Live From the Budapest Christmas Market
Live From the Budapest Christmas Market

Read More »