Laszlo and Anna Boros came up with a good idea. Why not introduce one of their favorite pastries from Hungary to South Floridians?
Kurtos kalacs are sometimes called cinnamon horns or chimney cakes ("kurto" in Hungarian means chimney). This ancient Transylvanian treat dates back to the 15th century. Traditionally the cakes were made and cooked on an open fire. Today, they are roasted in modern stainless steel rotisseries in both Romania and Hungary.
"Four years ago we moved from N.Y. to Florida," Anna explained. "Our intentions were to open a cafeteria or an ice cream shop or a breakfast place. A Hungarian friend told us that she had been successful in Hungary selling kurtos kalacs. She said that rather than taking a chance on opening a place in this economy, we should think about just selling the chimney cakes at different festivals. We decided to try it and thankfully it has worked for us."
Laszlo likes to put on a show for the spectators who come to his stand at outdoor art shows. I caught him recently at the Beaux Arts fest. He starts by taking a wooden roller that resembles a rolling pin and brushing on a layer of butter. This keeps the dough from sticking to the wood. He then rolls out a good amount of dough, made from warm milk, yeast, sugar, flour, eggs, salt and butter onto a floury board, cuts long two-inch wide strips of the white dough and in an overlapping spiral motion, rolls the dough around the stick of wood.
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Next, the whole kurtos kalacs gets dipped into a mixture of cinnamon and sugar or walnuts, (or whatever you want if you're making them at home), and placed onto the rotisserie hooks for cooking. Although the flour mixture takes a while to prepare, the actual cooking time is only a few moments.
Ann adds, "We sold over 500 pieces of the cakes at the Beaux Arts Festival and people told us that we had the best food items in the whole festival."
The kurtos kalacs are a nice addition to the rows of regular food stands that offer fast bites. They will set up their kurtos stand at the Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden on January 24 and they will be at the Deerfield Beach Art Festival the following weekend. They cost about $4.