Monday, October 10, 2011

Scenes from the Palinka and Sausage Festival

If you see the behind of the Turul Bird, you know you are in the Castle District of Budapest, site of the 2011 Palinka and Sausage Festival.

The castle grounds are a beautiful to celebrate the twin wonders of spiced meat and high-alcohol booze. You pay a small admission charge of 1000 forints (about $4.50) to enter the festival area. The admission charge includes a small tasting glass. You must purchase a debit card as all payments inside are made via this festival-issued debit card. Refunds are available at the festival exit for any unused portion of the card. For example, I got a refund of 50 forint (20 cents) for my un-drunken portion of the card.

Plenty of booths around the castle grounds. Here's one of a gentleman carving meat off a real animal leg (note the visible and still present hoof at the end of the leg).

Yes, meat really does come from animals.

This little pig is glad that he's just a decoration and not an actual live pig. Otherwise, that would've been his leg on the carving station.

Plenty of good seat available to eat your food and drink your booze.

Lots of different palinka companies had booths. You could pay a small fee (usually 300 forints, about a $1.30) for a small swig, or 400 forints (about $1.90) for a double. Palinka is a fruit schnapps with an alcohol content of between 40 and 50 percent. It can be made with apricot (the original), cherry, pear, plum, raspberry, or just about any other fruit. Interestingly, the Hungarian word for "apricot" is "barack." True story. So Hungarians must think our president's name is Apricot Obama.

I actually found the sausage section to be much more intimidating than booze section. Ordering a taste of palinka was simple. The sausages -- and knowing what meat was in which sausage -- was much more difficult. So, for food, I chose the freshly-fried potato chips, which were awesomely delicious. Note the palinka glass to the side (Obama-flavored since I'm a traditionalist), for washing down the delicious potato chips.

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