Back when I was still wearing a school uniform, I popped into the village butcher’s with my mother. Their conversation bordered on the inane. The pair of them were in raptures over a leg of lamb. A lump of meat. Talk about gagging on superlatives.
Fast forward about 15 years to the only butcher’s shop in Anchorage, Alaska. I’d spotted it driving by and begged my then boyfriend to stop. I went inside and saw a beautiful leg of lamb. I nearly swooned. Delighted by my reaction, the butcher walked into the cold room and brought out a gorgeous rack. I heard my mother speaking through me and got the land of my life. Mind you, now that I’m older, and wiser, and have come to appreciate my mother’s eccentricities, I’ve come to realise what a wonderful woman she is,. Turning out like her would be no bad thing at all.
Close to the top of my wish list for nearly five years now has been ready access to fresh lamb. It’s not asking much, is it? Just three hours away in Vienna, market stalls have some fantastic looking lamb. But here in Budapest, I have to resort to scouring the deep-freezers around Easter and bagging what I can. The other day, on the No. 4 tram between Mester utca and Corvin Negyed, I caught sight of a shop window emblazoned with the B word. Baranyi. Today I went to investigate.
I was like a kid in a candy store. The poor chap behind the counter didn’t know quite what to make of my orgasmic-like exuberance. And when I asked to take a photo, I know he officially wrote me off as being a couple of cutlets short of a rack. The shop is bright, airy, clean, and fresh. The meat is beaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuutiful. And it’s just around the corner. Ferenc Korut 39. No prizes for guessing what’s on the menu this Saturday night.