Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Lángos is a classic Hungarian fried bread, sold everywhere by street carts and vendors. Fluffy and light, this favorite fair food is made from yeasted dough and often with additional mashed potatoes to make krumplis lángos (potato lángos).
The name and origin of lángos
The name of the dish comes from the word "láng", meaning "flame", since it was originally baked near the flames of a brick oven, unlike today, when it is regularly deep-fried in oil. Some believe that lángos was created under Turkish influence, while others believe it comes from the ancient Romans.
To describe lángos, I would say it's a bread dough cooked round-shaped in a frying pan. The first written record of this delicious food is from the 1700s, but the origin of the recipe goes back to the 14th century. At the same time when people started to leaven bread, and process new ways to bake, they started to eat lángos as an appetizer. They ate it with fat, butter, and sour cream back then. At the beginning of the 1900s, it was eaten without any garnish. However, there were no furnaces in the urban households, so people living in the cities made it in a pan, fried in fat. The preparing process is very slow, so we started to sell them at markets, or in the streets, and later on, it became a traditional summer food of Hungary.
Eat the lángos freshly made, as it will get mushy when cold; if you made too much dough and don't need to fry many discs, you can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to a week.
These popular snacks are usually served rubbed with garlic, sprinkled with salt, and with some combination of sour cream, onions, kefir, sausage, eggs, yogurt, cheese, ham, or bacon. This wonderful bread is a great accompaniment to soups, like korhelyleves, and wonderful to enjoy on its own.
You can really eat lángos with almost anything on it.
Our personal favorite also goes with garlic, sour cream and cheese on the top, but at fairs you have lots of other alternatives for the toppings. Some of the variations are: sour cream + cheese + ham / sour cream + cheese + green onions / sour cream + bacon + cheese / sour cream + feta + herbs / nutella / cinnamon sugar / jam / candy.
Eat it without any topping, the traditional way with garlic water, sour cream and cheese, sweety or with herbs, it really doesn’t matter. Even though it’s so ridiculously easy to make, lángos will change your perspective on street food, as it is such a great invention, which will be an evergreen reminiscent of your stay in Hungary.