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Although its popularity has spread to neighboring countries such as Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania, it remains Hungary’s identity in terms of national street food. From Budapest to the smallest village, you’ll find it everywhere.
It is as old as bread and was originally the result of leftovers of the ancient grain. Generally, when making bread there are small clumps of dough that stay behind on the sides of the kneading bowl. For the hungry, these tiny clumps were baked and ready to consume long before the bread was ready for the table.
Furthermore, bread was not baked every day in those days. They’d bake bread maybe once a week, or every five days. By the time it was the day to bake, there’d be no more bread left and so the tiny clumps became a popular meal for the day.
What we enjoy today varies slightly from the original recipe. Firstly, it no longer is made from the tiny clumps of the ancient grain. Secondly, towards the end of the 1950s, Lángos became a popular addition to restaurant menus with a slight variation here and there. Lastly, today it is a must to stop at a street vendor and order from their many varieties of which cheese-garlic-sour-cream is the most popular variety.