Chocolate Mikuláses!

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I love Christmas decorations. When I moved to Hungary, I shipped 25 medium-sized boxes from the States. Seven were marked “Christmas.” If I ever move back to California, I’m going to need way more than that to hold all my Christmas decor. Since moving to Budapest, I have discovered chocolate Mikuláses. Continue reading

Send Szaloncukor!#@!

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“What’s this? I asked as I sat down in the staff room my first December in Budapest. In the center of the table rested a bowl of candies twisted in shiny red, blue, green, and gold paper. “Szaloncukor,” my Hungarian friend Monika replied.  She picked up a piece and explained that szaloncukor are goo-filled chocolate covered sweets wrapped in colorful foil. Their centers come in a variety of flavors. “It would be hard to find a Christmas tree in Hungary without them,” another Hungarian friend piped in. “If you want to know how important szaloncukor is to Hungarians,” Monika added, “just imagine your Halloween without any candy.” Continue reading

The Candy Shop

photo by Lennart Guillet

When I was in kindergarten, all I wanted to do was spend my time in the little play store in the corner of the classroom. I’d load the plastic food into brown paper bags for my classmates, take their play money, and drop it in the little red cash register that dinged when the drawer popped open. At my parent teacher conference, my teacher, Mrs. Brooks, told my mom I was a born salesman. She also said I needed to do a better job sharing the cash register. Continue reading