Sunday, May 26, 2013

Some Things I Would Like to Bring Home to Oshkosh from Pécs – Part II: A Bakery

 One other thing I would like to bring with me from Pécs is a bakery.  This is even more ambitious than bringing back a car, I know.  Let me tell you, dear reader, what prompts my sincere admiration of Pécs’s bakeries. 

First of all, Pécs is full of them.  They are nearly on every corner in certain parts of town.  My favorite is called Aranycipó, or “Golden Wheat”:  a corny name, but a delicious place.  They have fresh bread every day, ranging from soft and white to crusty and sour to brown and heavy.  The crusty, brown ones are my favorite.  Ordinarily, I don’t really like bread but in Pécs (and my childhood hometown of San Francisco) it is hard to resist because it is so fresh and good and nutritious.  My favorite, the “King Ludwig Rye,” named after the eccentric Bavarian
king, Ludwig II, is a rye-wheat mix, that turns out brown and a bit sour, with a crusty crust.  Like in a pint of Guinness, you can taste the B vitamins in every bite.  This is no tasteless bread, that can sit in your pantry for weeks without hardening or growing mold.  This is a bread you must eat now or else it will quickly turn to stone: carpe panem.  (I mean to say: seize the bread, but I haven’t studied Latin since the 9th grade.) 

Aranycipó also has lots of good Hungarian pastries, sandwiches, and a little café downtown where you can sit, drink coffee, and consume baked goods.  In Oshkosh, the only independent bakery shop that I knew of closed recently, and anyhow they did not sell bread, only sweet things.  Nor were they a hang-out place.  Now, the bakery shops that are left are inside of supermarkets.  They have some good baked goods,
bread sold here... cafe around the corner...
including some good bread, but no place to sit down. 

While I can still find some more-or-less freshly baked bread in Oshkosh, it seems to be a niche market.  In Pécs, it is a staple.  Much of it is a soft, white bread that I really don’t like, but it is almost all freshly baked.  Rich or poor, gourmand or grub-seeker, Hungarians all seem to buy fresh bread almost every day. 

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