Archive for October 31, 2011


October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

[András Szántó]

My days with the Wall Street Journal’s Saturday arts/culture/food/wine/cars sections are numbered, as I have previously lamented. As far as I can tell, our WSJ subscription has already ended, but the paper keeps coming, just in case I change my mind and renew. Which isn’t going to happen, Rupert.

In the meantime, I still get to enjoy their wonderful articles, such as András Szántó’s piece two days ago on the best krémes in Budapest. I keep looking at the photos of krémes and wondering when we get to go. I told Gail last night that we should plan a trip to Budapest, maybe with Prague and Vienna thrown in. Today we got a postcard from her childhood friend Lois, in the midst of that very trip. Not fair.

What is krémes? (Or should I say what are krémes?) The author explains that it is

a quivering quadrangle of vanilla crème, sandwiched between layers of crisp mille-feuille and finished with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

The krémes is dessert stripped to the essentials. It’s usually consumed on its own, not after a meal. Best to order before noon, when cream and crust are both fresh, their contrasting textures clearly discernible.

On a visit to Budapest with his son, he does research on the best krémes, coming up with a list of six. I sent the article to friend and colleague Sándor, a Budapest native, who found the article close to his heart, noting that although krémes “is not my first choice of pastry,” it is “a major thing a Hungarian misses in the US.” I also had my current TA, Pál, yet another Budapest native, weigh in. It turns out that the place Szántó ranks number one, Maródi Cukrászda, which opened just last spring, is around the corner from Pál’s home in Budapest. Pál will get to try it in December. Like Sándor, Pál commented that krémes is not his favorite Hungarian dessert. He prefers somlói galuska.

We will have a lot to explore. While we wait, we can look at more of Szántó’s photos, such as the one below.

Categories: Food, Travel