Túró Rudi is the name of a chocolate bar popular in Hungary since 1968. The bar is composed of a thin outer coating of chocolate and an inner filling of túró (curd). The "Rudi" in the product name comes from the Hungarian "rúd", which translates to rod or bar (and is also a nickname for the name Rudolf). Túró Rudi can be made in different flavours and sizes.
The basic (plain, "natúr") bar is by far the most popular amongst Hungarians and comes in two sizes: the classic 30-gram bar and the larger ("óriás", giant) 51-gram bar. There are also less popular differently-flavoured varieties of the bar, like apricot or peanut butter. The plain bar can be found with dark chocolate outer coating.
The "pöttyös" (spotty or spotted) theme is part of the marketing scheme of the bar, and the distinctive red polka-dots are readily associated with Túró Rudi by regular consumers. Friesland Hungária, Inc. (which claims to be the manufacturer of the "original" Túró Rudi) released its product in Slovakia, Romania, Spain and Italy under the name DOTS in 2003. The version sold in Western Europe is said to be sweeter and comes with a milk chocolate coating to suit the taste of locals.
Its first public appearance was in a Hungarian family film, "Kismaszat és a Gézengúzok" (roughly translated to 'Little Smear and the Scapegraces') in the 1980s.
The bar is best kept refrigerated around 4 degrees Celsius. The regular 31 gram bar and the óriás bar usually retail for about 70 Hungarian forints (about 24 euro cents) and 100 Hungarian forints (about 40 euro-cents), respectively.
The earliest form of Túró Rudi appeared in Russia under the name Cырок (Syrok meaning curd snack), a rectangular bar of curd, butter and fat mixed together, covered with dark chocolate coating. Its coating is thinner and the filling is sweeter. It is widely acknowledged that Túró Rudi was based on it as design and production began after a study trip to the Soviet Union (presumably by Antal Deák). Sándor Klein, a teacher at the Budapest University of Technology, gave the product its name, which raised a bit of controversy as people thought the name was vulgar and had pornographic associations. But the name stayed, and throughout the 1970s, turned out to be very successful. Production moved from Budapest to Mátészalka and eventually grew to several additional factories throughout the 1980s.
From the beginning of its production Túró Rudi was marketed as a "healthy dessert", an opinion strongly supported by nutritional experts of the time. Later examinations however showed some less positive results. While the filling of Túró Rudis is genuine, good quality curd, the coating is not chocolate as many believe. It is a mixture of cocoa powder, hydrogenated vegetable fat, sugar and butter, containing several grams of trans fat which is believed to be one of the main causes of obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
However Túró Rudi sales remain unbroken, the general public and experts opposing such concerns usually label these comments as an attempt to create hysteria, pointing out that the consumption of few bars per day is completely harmless, as it contains far less sugar and fat compared to most chocolate or dessert products on the market.
The 'Landfrisch Rudi' is also coated with chocolate like its Hungarian predecessor, but is sweeter, as there's no lemon flavor in it. In addition to the 'plain' version, it's also sold in vanilla and coconut flavors, and has been awarded an Innovation prize at the 2005 Anuga international food trade fair.
In Estonia the dessert is sold under several different trademarks (such as kohuke and glasuurkohuke).
In Russia, as well as in many post-Soviet states, the original version of the product can still be found in a rectangular and slightly softer form, which, again, is sweeter than the Hungarian one.
Although there are no known instances of similar products in Japan, several Japanese visitors to Hungary have started a website dedicated to show their love for Túró Rudi.
- Túró Rudi, from the name Rudolf, is the name given to the Red Baron in the Hungarian translation of the Richard Scarry children's books.
- The Hungarian band 100 Folk Celsius have a song named after Túró Rudi.
- There is a short movie titled Túró Rudi by János Kellár
- The official website of Landfrisch Rudi[dead link]
- Földvári Zsuzsa: Vigyázat, másolva! – A Túró Rudi Ausztriában, HVG, 2006/13., 2006 march 29. (registraction required)
- "Felavatták a kínai Túró Rudi-üzemet". Index.hu. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
- Danio Batonik vending machine in Poland[dead link]
- きち (2005-10-17). "Japanese Túró Rudi fan page". Uszoda.blog12.fc2.com. Retrieved 2012-05-12.