//Ad libs: Back to my city by the beigli

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back to my city by the beigli

Ah, it's the best when the arts and food harmonize. Palo Alto Philharmonic cellist Ann Jona found out I had lived in Budapest, her hometown, and invited me to a Hungarian picnic this past weekend.

It was a terrific spread at Flood Park, put on by a Hungarian church in Redwood City. I was extremely happy to plunk down my donation and get a huge plate of stuffed cabbage, potatoes and cucumber salad, along with dios beigli. (We were too full for the

I could translate dios beigli for you as "walnut roll," but that wouldn't do it justice. This is a firm, robust pastry that isn't too sweet, isn't too dry, and just plain knows its own business. Above is the makos, or poppyseed, variety as well. I made a makos beigli for my family last Thanksgiving (very traditional) and it looked just like that, only with cracks and a crooked shape.

Koszonom szepen to Ann, and overall I must say that the Palo Alto Philharmonic has excellent taste. It's planning to kick off the 2009-2010 season with a Hungarian-themed
program on Oct. 24. Fellow Magyar-philes should be pleased to see a program replete with Bartok, Kodaly and Dohnanyi. Hungarian cello soloist Csaba Onczay is even flying in to perform.

Pictured: Dios and makos beigli in a photo by Hu Totya, from Wikipedia