My first meal in Budapest is actually a snack but one I’m quite familiar with: Fried Pork Skins.
I’m navigating through the vast spaces of the Central Market Hall [Nagy Vasarcsarnok] bright and early on my first full day in the city and am at loose ends. It’s a tremendous market filled with all the needs a city dweller might have but what I’m really wanting is some prepared food that I can just sit right down and eat.
The miles of aisles are filled with all sorts of fresh vegetables, raw meat, vast arrays of cheeses and all the normal goods a giant mercantile might sell but I’m having a hard time finding a nosh.
Then I spot a big tray of what appears to be fried pork skins sitting atop the meat counter at Fustoltaru Felvagott. A worker and I begin negotiating, he in Hungarian, me in English til we reach a common ground. As I make my purchase and begin heading towards the door I spy a fresh orange juice stand and wait patiently as the girl makes me a glass from scratch, then retire to a tiny run- down park across the street.
The scene is very nice. A portly Magyar man is tidying up the park with his tanktop rolled up revealing quite an impressive belly while a big crew of workmen toil away digging a ditch near the Market.
While the rinds would’ve been great warm they are merely good at room temperature. The orange juice however is excellent, fresh as an 18 year old Anita Bryant and light on the pulp which is how I prefer it.
I bask quietly, taking in the Budapest sunshine and eating my fried pork as the city rises from slumber. An auspicious start to my first day in this exotic land of Hungary.
Address: Vamhaz korut 1-3, Budapest, Hungary
Phone Number: 36-1 366-3300
Hours: Monday 6am-5pm Tuesday-Friday 6am-6pm Saturday 6am-2pm