The Central Passage is great most days of the week because if you put on your noise-cancelling earphones and walk along it with your back to Király Street, you can discover what Budapest would look like after being ravaged by zombies.
It is a newly built house that sits empty and abandoned right in the busy heart of the city. Still, nobody walks around there.
However, every Thursday between 1 and 9 pm it comes to life: this is when the first evening market in Budapest operates, which becomes increasingly filled with people as the hours pass by. Around seven in the evening it gets really crowded.
Let me tell you why this market is a good idea:
- most people work during the day, so they don’t have a chance to go to a place where they can buy stuff directly from the producers
- in this neighborhood the only market is the Szimpla piac (Simple Market) which is open only on Sundays
- the Gozsdu Court had also been totally empty before they started organizing the Gouba Market on Sundays. We can see what happened.
I’m not saying that Central will be the new Gozsdu, but it’s true that you can find some really cool stuff at the evening market – sometimes at a terribly high price.
Okay, not all the prices are outrageous, but even if there are some really good quality products in there, in most cases you would be scratching your head for some time before you can decide if it’s worth it. Let me give you an example: you can buy homemade cheese. I bought some. A piece of Voralberger cheese:
Good? Sensational! It’s great that now there are people in Hungary as well who can make something like it. Earlier there was no chance of finding it in our region. But one kilogram costs nearly HUF 13,000! You can get really popular French or Dutch cheeses for this money. Actually, the price of this cheese is so high that you’ll have trouble spending this much on any cheese, but it’s true that its flavor is just as characteristic as that of a first-rate French or Dutch cheese.
But the pepper products by a brand called Magyar Virtus (roughly “Hungarian Feats”) are not expensive at all; you can get a bottle for HUF 950. And most of them are so strong that you will have that bottle for years! I tried Dominátor (Dominator) first. It was so strong that I couldn’t have anything for minutes. I had to skip Mennydörgés (Thunder), which is even stronger, as well as the last resort Attila.
It’s really cool that the market also offers Tarnamenti salamis. These products have won national prizes several times, deservedly, and they are so wonderful, made from mangalica, grey cattle and other home-bred livestock that after tasting them you reevaluate everything you’ve bought before. They used to have liver pâté too, and they promise to reintroduce it here, but the offerings featuring various kinds of Vienna sausages, Hungarian sausages and bacon are already very strong.
These are not cheap at all either, for one kg of bacon costs HUF 3000, the sausage is HUF 5000 per kg and the Vienna sausage HUF 3200 per kg. You should not compare the price of the latter with the horrible soy stuff you can get in the stores, and although the Tarnamenti stuff is expensive, when you taste them at home, you’ll understand why (although you can eat everything right at the market, except for the Vienna sausage).
I found some head cheese at another butcher. I’d never known that I like this kind of stuff, but it looked so nice that I couldn’t help but buy some. At home it turned out to be sensationally disgusting. If I had to explain to a foreign friend what Hungarian gastronomy is like, I would send this picture to him (and would regret not seeing his face when he opens the attachment).
You can also buy vegetables, cookies, cakes, diabetic products and pastes. My secret tip for the cheapest one is the olive paste. This is the best and at HUF 3600 per kg, it’s the most affordable one too.
Take a look, it’s a lot of fun.
Like the article if you like the market and say what should be tried if you have bought something there before.
Translation provided by Helpers Business and Immigration Services. Find us at www.helpers.hu
You may find the original article here.