BUDAPEST-PRIVATE Your tour guide and contact in Hungary
Chimney cake is one of the most delicious representatives of traditional Hungarian sweets, added to the list of Hungaricums in 2014, and can be bought also as a street food.
The recipe is more than 400 years old: the chimney cake is made of relatively hard and sweet yeast dough, rolled around special wooden rolls or spits and roasted over charcoal. The cake is rolled in sugar and - due to the heat - the sugar is caramelized and gives a brownish-red surface to the sweet. Additional toppings are restricted to ground or shredded walnut, almond, cinnamon powder or vanilla sugar.
There are no Christmas markets in Budapest without chimney cake, but is also popular in summer over a cup of coffee or tea.
If you travel to Budapest, you can taste chimney cake every day in the year in the Váci Street, near to the Elisabeth bridge.
The production of soda water (sparkling or fizzy water) was invented by Ányos Jedlik (Hungarian physicist and Benedictine priest) in 1826. As there was wine in the country, it seemed like a good idea to mix the two drinks. The result was a delicious but light beverage, which is still as popular as ever. Especially, during the hot summer days in Hungary spritzers can be great refreshment.
There is a list about the most popular variations you can try in Budapest:
Kisfröccs (The Short Spritzer or The Whistle): 100 ml wine + 100 ml soda water
Nagyfröccs (The Big Spritzer or The Jerk): 200 ml wine + 100 ml soda water
Hosszúlépés (The Long Step or The Long Stride): 100 ml wine + 200 ml soda water
Házmester (The Concierge): 300 ml wine + 200 ml soda water
Viceházmester (The Vice Concierge): 200 ml wine + 300 ml soda water
At the end of the 18th century, Dr. Josef Zwack was the royal physician in the Austrian-Hungarian Imperial Court. He createded a herbal digestive and offered a sip of it to Joseph II, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary. After the first tasting the Emperor said:
"Dr. Zwack, das ist ein Unikum" - means "Dr. Zwack, this is unique!"
This is the origin of the name.
The popular Hungarian herb liqueur with its secret recipe is more than 200 years old. A well-known advertising poster made the beverage even more famous. Since then however, a Zwack Museum was opened in Budapest. For those, who prefer milder aromas, Unicum Next was launched in 2004 - with less bitter herbs, but more citrus flavours.