Nobody knows when the obsession started, but standing at a street corner butcher’s and hunting down mustard to go with your grilled sausage and a slice of white bread the size of your face is an experience most Hungarian people have had and are eager to have again, whenever possible.
This good old tradition is being preserved at the brand new food stand at Tihany PIAC Marketplace – the guys running the food workshop have a mission to refute the horrible stereotype that sausages have basically everything in them from toothbrushes to your neighbour’s wellies. They swear that is not a practice they follow, and that the cold cuts they’ll make will have as much meat as the beef neck at Kistücsök.
The two creative minds behind the project are stylist Márk Lakatos and Ádám Németh, who’s been previously involved in several Budapest-based creative and gastro endeavours. They are the ones standing behind the counter, “welding” the food. They have both been active in the kitchen since they were kids: Márk’s education started at local pig slaughters at age 4-5; he confesses his hand almost made it into the sausage mix on one or two occasions. Csaba is also part of the team: he’s responsible for various background operations.
They say the current hamburger fever will soon fizz out, and will be replaced by a new craze for sausage, so they found an Algyő butcher, whose family has been in the sausage-making business for several generations. They’ve teamed up with him to make such creations as grilled sausage with orange and shiitake mushrooms, and visitors to the Tihany market can sample these varied meat products for an average price of 1,600 HUF.
A few weeks ago they held a test cooking session in the kitchen of Tihany PIAC: they served a basic grilled sausage with couscous salad and home-made grilled cold cuts with mint-infused green pea cream – they say this is only the beginning.
Starting tomorrow, things will get serious in the workshop. For breakfast (800-1,500 HUF) early birds can gobble up an upside down muesli-milk type combo, that is coconut-oats granola and fresh fruit packed onto yoghurt cream. Fans of more traditional breakfast food will find what they’re looking for as well: scrambled eggs and smoothies will definitely make it onto the menu.
Lunchtime mode kicks in at 11am – that’s when the real welding begins. The team will prepare everything from gazpacho with cherries, home-made paprikás krumpli (potato stew with paprika) with sausage stew and turmeric and cold pumpkin pottage topped with grilled sausage with leek bits.
The basic strategy is making food from seasonal ingredients, so it’s hardly surprising that this time they whipped out the cherries – definitely not from the freezer. Over the summer they would like to cultivate a close relationship with the producers on the Tihany market. When we visited they were busy tasting a cheese matured in truffle sauce, thinking of ways to incorporate it into an appetizer.
“We don’t deny that the ultimate goal by the end of August is to work out the recipe for opening an eatery in Budapest. We don’t want a sausage joint where people only drop in to have a quick bite because they cannot sit down. We also want to sell our top-quality sausages to restaurants and other catering businesses too,” Ádám told us on the subject of long-term plans. Márk has a few ideas in terms of the design as well, and says they won’t stop at adopting the red welding helmet as their logo: “We could totally organize pop-up events where we would cook in helmets like these. We would be like Daft Punk, only with food.”