For me, Christmas is always associated with memories from my childhood. I will definitely make a special post about our customs, but before that I would like to introduce to you our Christmas candy. “Szaloncukor”, or as Slovaks know it, “salonky”, can be translated as “parlour candy”. They were hung on Christmas trees, usually in the parlour. They were “invented” at the end of the nineteenth century, but the fashion did not pick up until the beginning of the twentieth century. And szaloncukor are still in style. No wonder, because they are constantly changing – the first ones were just fondant covered with chocolate, wrapped in white paper and tinfoil, but since then plenty of flavors have been brought out. I clearly remember the introduction of the jelly szaloncukor (at the end of the ’80s – beginning of the ’90s) when we made special trips to Hungary to purchase this valuable commodity. According to the customs regulations, we could bring only one or 2 boxes (about a pound), which was never enough for our big Christmas tree.
Since then Slovakia and Hungary joined the EU and the flow of szaloncukor is unobstructed. All the big candy manufacturers have their own szaloncukor on the market so everyone can find a favorite. Yes, you can get Tesco value and Tesco “color” brands, Milka brand, Norbi Update brand (a Hungarian celebrity weight-loss program), szaloncukor for diabetics etc. The business is good. The romantic, handmade and rock-hard fondant was replaced by an unbelievable selection of flavors spiced up with wide variety of additives and preservatives proudly printed on the package in E numberology. The flavors for 2009 are stawberry yogurt, caramel cream and the good old chestnut is still in.
One lucky reader can win a few of these gems from Emperor’s Crumbs to decorate your own tree! Details are in the next post. Feel free to indulge – it’s the right time of year. Right?
Disclaimer: No szaloncukor were harmed during the making of this post.