26 January 2010

Hungary: A Jewish Budapest food tour

Tablet has a yummy podcast today - all about the food of Hungary, produced by Julie Subrin.

Besides food, the 10-minute podcast offers tiny glimpses of Jewish life in Budapest, of secret circumcisions until rather recent times, the last of the kosher bakeries and coffeehouses - don't miss this section about the ultimate Jewish Hungarian pastry with crushed walnuts and poppy seeds.

Jews have lived in what today is Hungary since the 11th century, and despite the devastation of World War II and discrimination under Communism, Hungary is home to the largest Jewish community between Paris and Moscow.

Today, roughly 80,000 Jews live in Budapest alone. Over the years, Jewish culture has woven itself deeply into Hungarian life, particularly in the kitchen, where many dishes that are typically thought of as Hungarian actually have Jewish origins.

London-based reporter Hugh Levinson took a culinary tour of Budapest with Bob Cohen, an American ethnomusicologist who has lived there for more than 20 years.

Cohen writes a foodie blog, plays fiddle in his band, “Di Naye Kapelye,” and is an expert on the tastes and tales of the local cuisine. Their first stop was Kádár, a tiny, legendary restaurant in the heart of the old Jewish district.
Listen - and taste vicariously - to the podcast here.

Bob's food blog is Dumneazu, subtitled "Ethnomusicological Eating East of Everywhere." His most recent post on Korean food demonstrated Korean sashimi, a thicker-cut version than Japanese. The photos are also delicious! You will love his blog!

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