In accordance with a unanimous vote by the Hungaricum Committee, chimney cake, which is at once a Sekler, Transylvanian and Hungarian treasure, was declared a Hungaricum at the body’s Thursday session”, Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas told the press in Budapest.

The Hungaricum Committee will provide all possible assistance to provide legal protection for the chimney cake”, the Minister added. “In Transylvania, chimney cake is a statement of Hungarian identity and also represents the creativity of traditional cookery. Chimney cake set out on its journey of world conquest after 1990 and can now be found in many countries”, Mr. Fazekas said in explanation of the decision to make chimney cake a Hungaricum.

Chimney cake, which also has a Traditions-Flavours-Regions trademark, is a special product with an absolutely unique method of preparation and production. It got its name from its shape, which resembles a chimneystack. The dough is cut into long strips, which are then rolled around an oiled, thick wooden spit and often dipped in various flavourings (traditionally cinnamon and sugar) and then baked over charcoal while the spits are turned by hand.

Photo: Ilona Francz
The first recorded recipe was included in a Transylvanian cookery book published in 1784 by Lady Mária Mikes of Zabola. By the end of the 18th century, the pastry had become popular throughout all Hungarian language territories and had become an important element of both folk and city cuisine. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the recipe was included in several famous Hungarian cookery books, and in the early 20th century people began coating the exterior with crushed walnuts and sugar. Transdanubian terms for it include “roll on a stick”, “truncheon bun” and “cudgel cake”, while in the eastern part of the country people usually call it chimney cake, chimney bun, “chimney dunker” or just a “chimney”.

The latest decision on the part of the Hungaricum Committee means the Hungaricum Collection now includes 55 unique Hungarian treasures.

(MTI/Ministry for Agriculture)