When you get ready to study abroad, one of the most important things you should think about is what delicious foods you absolutely cannot come home without eating. A classic list will probably look something like this: gelato, frites/French fries, Belgian waffles, Swiss chocolate, paella, and, of course, lots of wine. But what if I told you there was something better than every single thing on this list?
Let me tell you about kürtőskalács (how you actually say that is still a mystery to me, but maybe this alternative translation will help: kurtosh kalach) or to simplify it further, chimney cakes.A basic chimney cake is made by wrapping a sweet dough around a metal cone and covering it in sugar and butter. This is then placed over a flame and baked until the outside becomes a crispy golden color. A lot of places will roll it in a nut-sugar mix at the end or even just a chocolate powder. Some of the fancier places might add a flavoring to the inside or even stuff it with Nutella or ice cream.
Chimney cakes are an Eastern European treat specifically from Hungary. Budapest was the first place I found a chimney cake, but the only place I saw them on the street was on the Pest (say it like pescht to keep the locals happy) side near the castle and Fishermen’s Bastion. This isn’t to say they aren’t sold elsewhere because I’m sure they are, but this is the only place I remember.
If you're in Prague, check out the street vendors near the Powder house or near the famed Astronomical clock. If you are down for the possibility of getting a little lost, wander some of the side streets near the Charles Bridge, and you'll find a small shop that will fill the cake with Nutella, ice cream, or fresh fruit. Also note that in Prague they are called trdelník, but most signs with English will still read chimney cake.
I cannot stress how much you have to try this dessert, and don’t put it off until your last day. I had so many in the six day span I was in Budapest and Prague, and I still wish I had eaten more. It was very disappointing to get to Berlin and not see them on the street corners anymore. So make sure to try one during your time abroad.