Mangalitsa Festival Posted on February 9th, 2010 by

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than wandering around the historical Hősök tere [Heroes’ Square] amongst slabs of meat, pots of forralt bor [Hungarian hot wine], and huge curly-haired Hungapigs. It’s called the Mangalitsa Festival, and it is more or less like a Budapest country fair. Scores of stands were selling everything from cheese, jam, and raw pork to leather bracelets, fur-lined mittens, and some sort of traditional Hungarian recorder-esque instrument. There was also a pretty cool folk band playing the whole time we were there, but nothing stood a chance against the Hungapigs. The pigs were huge, which is to be expected of any pig bred in captivity, but they also had really fluffy, curly hair that made them look like some sort of Chia pet experiment gone awry. There was even a bright red-orange pigs that started squealing really loudly and stomping around when one of the Hungarians tried to stick a camera phone in its face.

After two hours of wandering outside, we started losing feeling in our fingers so we decided to call it a day. We passed by another group of stands on the way out and it was all I could do to only walk out of there with a bracelet.. well, that and a stomach full of the best cinnamon, sugar bread I’ve ever had. We had split the first one four ways right at the beginning, and we like it so much that Rachel and I decided to split a second as we were leaving. Bad idea. Apparently there’s a limit to how much sweet bread a person can shove into their mouth before their stomach starts screaming, “Uncle!!” But where I come from, fairs mean eating deep-fried food until all you want is something green and leafy, so I felt right at home with my stomach full of sugar craving nothing but salad.


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