Lángos with cheese and sour cream
|Place of origin||Hungary|
|Main ingredient(s)||Flour, yeast, salt|
Lángos is a dough made of water or milk and flour, with a dash of sugar and salt and fried in oil. Adding sour cream, yoghurt or mashed potatoes to the dough is optional, in the latter case it is called Potato Lángos (in Hungarian krumplis lángos). It is eaten fresh and warm, topped with sour cream and grated cheese, or Liptauer, ham, or sausages, rubbed with garlic or garlic butter, or doused with garlic water. Other ingredients and accompaniments can be mushroom, quark cheese, eggplant, cabbage, kefir, omelet, a confectioners' sugar, or jam.
Lángos may be cooked at home or bought from street vendors. It's a popular snack in the summer.
Traditionally lángos was baked in the front of the brick oven, close to the flames, that is where it name comes from, "láng" meaning "flame" in Hungarian. It was made from bread dough and was served as breakfast on the days when new bread was baked. Now that people no longer have brick ovens and do not bake bread at home, lángos is virtually always fried in oil.
Lángos is sold at many fast-food restaurants not only in Hungary but also in Austria. In Austria, especially in Vienna, lángos is very popular as a fast food at fairs and in amusement parks like the Prater. Lángos is known in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia as langoš, in Serbia as languš (although it is commonly called "Mekike"). It is also popular in Romania as langoși.
The early-15th-century Glossary of Beszterce, the most ancient currently known Hungarian “dictionary,” reveals that the ultimate ancestor of flat breads was the panis focacius attributed to the Romans (of which derives also the Italian flat bread called focaccia). In ancient Rome, panis focacius was a flat bread baked in the ashes of the fireplace (cf. Latin focus meaning “fireplace”). However, the modern lángos, despite its name, is not prepared near an open flame but rather by deep-fat frying, and among Hungarian foods it is instead the pogácsa which preserves the connection, both etymological and culinary, to the ancient panis focacius.
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