Although I spent a year in Hungary and became rather acquainted with the culture, it is still a shock at times to see how friendly and generous hosts Hungarians can be.
Our friend Imre invited us over to his place last night for palacsinta (crepes), which I haven’t had since living in Hungary. We were also treated to meeting his parents who were visiting for a few days. They did not speak any English, or German, but like most Hungarians were delighted that we could say a few words of Hungarian. His father dutifully made sure my glass was always full. The wine was direct from Eger and was a sweeter red that was quite drinkable and made for livelier (and probably louder) conversation. His mother made sure that he was properly preparing the palacsinta. Then came the stuffing. I lost track after my fifth palacsinta, but Elise claims I made it past seven. I started off with the classic túrós, which was great (his mom can whip up some mean túrós), but a bit heavy. Imre also had a selection of homemade quince and currant marmalades, which equally rocked. I eventually got hooked on the plain cocoa and sugar dusting. Damn. No wonder I ened up losing count.
It sounds like a rather mundane evening and it is hard to put into words how such a simple experience like this can be so much fun. Part of it was the nostalgia and part of it was the genuine warmth that Hungarians show to guests. Hopefully we can return the favor at Thanksgiving.