It is a long time since I wrote last. Today I am back.
In Brazil, specially in São Paulo, it is very common do not have breakfast at home. On the way to work you can stop in a bakery or in a “pub” where you can stand up at the counter and have a quick cafe latte in a Brazilian style with a grilled buttered bread. That is so yummy! Alternatively we also have other snacks like cheese bread, coxinha or empadinha to accompany the coffee…. but this blog is not about Brazilian food, it was mentioned it only to do the parallel and tell you how glad I was the day I´d met first the pogácsa!
I´ve never found a perfect substitute for those Brazilian snacks. No other place in the world I think has the same tradition as we have but Hungary and its neighbors where you can find the famous pogácsa.
Of course the product is not the same, but it is the closest and when you are far from home, this means a lot!
Pogácsa is nothing more than a small bread that can have different flavors (potato, seeds, pork rind, cheese, etc) and you can buy it at coffee shops, supermarkets, ABC´s (local small markets) and bakeries spread everywhere in Hungary. I found a recipe in English just in case someone wants to adventure him/herself at home baking it!
But when in Budapest, the most delicious one you will find in 2 special places: at the big old central market (center of the main corridor on the left side if you came from the main entrance towards Corvinus) or at Daubner Cukrászda.
The visit to the Big Central Market is a must if you are in Budapest, then is not necessary to extend the comments here. I just let a link and you can check the panorama of the market interior:
Daubner, on the other hand is only for insiders. It is one of those places that brings you a question mark: it is not downtown, a small shop with 2-3 small doors and huge queue that reaches the side walk outside and maybe it is the most profitable business in town, but they keep the tradition of busy and crowded place with no investments in a bigger building. No problem, while the chef is motivated and keep the same quality, the addicts can survive and confront the long queue!
Take a look at this link take you directly on their assortiment of Pogácsa: http://daubnercukraszda.hu/sos-sutodei-termekek
Also another remarkable thing in Hungary linked to the pogácsa business is the small bakeries.
One Brazilian colleague once came to Budapest and later I asked her how she liked and she said: the best memory I have from there is the scent of the bakeries in the subway stations. And this is so true!
There are 3 names you must know and preferable try while you are in Hungary: Fornetti, Lípóti Pékség and Princess. All of them are in different niches but producing the same typical Hungarian pastries and breads:
http://www.lipotipekseg.hu/ – Since 1992 this is more like a bakery with high quality and fresh products, but it is a big chain and you can find everywhere in Budapest. Check the pastries as well!
http://www.fornetti.hu/termekek/termekbemutato_en?categorySelection=itemList&categoryId=5141 - Since 1997 this bakery has own brand stores (franchise) but also supply the products supermarkets, convenience stores and small village markets with its products. In general the products are distributed semi baked and then the owner of the store must bake it on site. This strategy fills in the stores with an amazing scent of fresh bread and it is irresistible, you have to buy it! My favorite is the warm mini polgacsa.
http://www.princesspek.hu/en/ – Launched in 1994, the most remarkable feature of this company is the points of sales at the subway stations in Budapest. Every station has a chocolate scent unforgettable and this is the cause of my colleagues memories about Budapest.
If you’re crazy about loaves, now you have a good suggestion and exclusive tour in Hungary: the pogácsa tour!
Sources of pictures: