Hang some szaloncukor on your tree this year

hungarian christmas candy szaloncukor

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.

salonky

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.

szalonky

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8 Responses

  1. Szaloncukor on our family tree ’59 – ’63 … despite the cold war these abominations could cross the iron curtain and end up in the UK !
    Even as a kid I hated them … would eat the odd chocolate decoration, but even then never had a sweet tooth …
    My mum tells me that back in the late 1930s when it was time for the tree to come down and the goodies be divided, every single szaloncukor was a re-twisted wrapper with contents long ago pinched !!!

  2. My mom used to make these when we were growing up & every year, us kids would eat every one of them before Christmas. We got so good at sneaking them, that we perfected the art of closing them back up, so it looked as though the candy was still inside.
    Mom hasn’t made these in years, so this year I
    decided too & of course, I made some for my mom as well. To me, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without szaloncukor & the tree isn’t complete, until it’s adorned in these awesome treats.

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