Still rolling at 86

I’d just finished a rather graphic account of my recent foray into colonic hydrotherapy when he turned to me and asked – ‘Do you like strudel?’ Completely missing the connection, I said…um… yes. The sharp right turn explained the non sequitur.

Making strudel is an art form. Think very thin sheets of pastry – very very thin. Legend has it that the Austrian Emperor’s cook (a perfectionist) decreed that the pastry should be so thin it should be possible to read a love letter through it. The super-thin dough is laid out and spread with filling: walnuts, cherries, cheese, apple, plum, cabbage – whatever you fancy. Then said super-thin dough is rolled up carefully and baked in an oven. Hey, presto – you have strudel.

Well, in Austria, it’s strudel. In the Balkans, it’s štrudla or savijača. In the Czech Republic, it’s závin or štrúdl. In Slovenia, it’s štrudelj or zavitek. In Slovakia, it’s  štrúdľa or závi. Go to Poland or Romania and you’re back to ștrudel. Hungarians have thrown the s and the z  to the wind and call it rétes. A shop (bolt) that sells rétes is a… rétesbolt. (Amazing how much my Hungarian is progressing, isn’t it!) This particular rétesbolt has been in operation since 1926.

I’ve had rétes before – and I’ve liked it. But I’ve never had it from the rétesbolt and now that I have, it will be hard to settle for anything else. There are no adjectives that come close to describing how gobsmackingly gorgeous it is – so I won’t even try. I had a walnut (dió) one, a cheese (túró) one, an apple (alma) one, and a cabbage (káposzta) one [and no, not all at the one time – over the course of two days!] The túró was my favourite but I’d happily have any of the others again right now. I could also have had poppy seed, apple and poppy seed, honey and poppy seed, plum, peach, banana, or pineapple. Throw in some very friendly (and patient) staff who were happy to answer questions and let me practice my Hungarian, and it’s a little slice of heaven.

It’s open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 8 pm and till 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Budapest XIII, Lehel utca 38. Across the road from Kika. Do yourself a favour and drop by. I’ll have a túrórétes please… no, make that two!

Subscribe to get notified when I publish something new.

7 Responses

  1. I read this just after breakfast and was immediately hungry again. I thought ‘still rolling at 86’, must be about some sprightly octogenarian. Instead it left my stomach started crying out for strudel. Lovely piece but perhaps you should publish a warning to readers ‘could damage you waistline” 🙂

    1. If you’ve not been Tim, it’s worth a visit. Family business doing well. Great to see. Am salivating myself now at the thought of it…

    1. The m and the b would have interfered with my poetic license! Nice to know there are more though – is there any limit to what you know Bernard?

  2. Hi Mary, your blog is a treat to read. Thank you. My granny had made carrot strudels a lot, and indeed it is an art, or magic, with a little girl’s eyes. I found your blog via the expat blog site. If you feel like participating in a short expat blogger interview re Budapest, please let me know at please. There are about ten questions, and we link back to your blog as a source if you wish (or website), besides thanking you for sharing your insights.

Talk to me...


%d bloggers like this:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information on cookies and GDPR

Cookies and GDPR Compliance

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

General Data Protection Regulation

If you have voluntarily submitted your email address so that you can receive notifications of new posts, please be assured that I don't use your address for anything other than to do just that - and that's done automatically. I might use your address, if I knew how to, but I don't.

This blog does not make money, it does not carry sponsored content, it has no ads for which I receive any form of payment. If I review a place or a restaurant or a book, I don't receive any compensation from anyone. I wish I did, but that would require marketing myself and life is too short. If something changes, I will be sure to let you know.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe or manage subscription links at the bottom of every email you receive. When you comment on a blog post, Google Analytics tracks where you're posting from. This is stored and I can check my stats to see how many clicks I had today, where people clicked from, and what they clicked on. That's it. Nothing more.

I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, particularly to other commenters. If you want to have one of your comments deleted, the please get in touch with me at: I'm all for the right to be forgotten so will happily oblige.

So, in a nutshell, if you give me your email address voluntarily to subscribe to new posts or if you opt to subscribe to new comments, then you email is just used for this. Nothing else. Promise.