Lángos is often touted as the Hungarian pizza. But it’s deep fried or shallow fried. It doesn’t come out of an oven. Is its pizza-ness due to the fact that it’s (a) round and (b) has toppings? Probably. [Tasty Trix has some good instructions on how to make lángos at home!] But what then do we call what comes out of the traditional brick oven?
The dough is rolled flat, as you would a pizza. It is then cut into rectangles and topped with various stuff, loaded onto a shovel and set to bake in the oven. So, except for its shape, it’s still pretty much a pizza and more in line with the traditional western idea of pizza.
But what’s it called? After much searching I came across a rather spurious account that claims that the baked-in-oven variety is called langalló and is, apparently, enjoying a resurge in popularity in recent years. I have visions of hoards of enterprising would-be millionaries reclaiming old pizza ovens that were long since banished to the outhouse or the back yard.
Still further investigation reveals that lángos came from people tearing a piece of dough, flattening it, and putting it into the oven before the bread was cooked thus giving rise (ahem) to langalló or kenyérlángos. Those who didn’t have the luxury of an oven, took to frying it in fat, thus giving us lángos .
Whatever its story, whatever its provenance, don’t depart this Earth without having tasted the fried stuff… to die for (and, most likely, given the fat content, that’s not as improbable as you might think!)
But the question remains – if lángos is fried langalló, what is pompos?