Uranium, Wine and Paprikas Krumpli

A monument to miners in Uranvaros - the man has a pneumatic chisel on his shoulder and a miner's helmet in his hand.

With our time here in Hungary quickly growing short (do things “grow short???”), we’ve been busy the past week or so with lots of day trips with friends and a long weekend in Budapest for our final Fulbright sponsored activities.  In this post I’ll include photos from the Villány wine region and a day at the home of Andy Rouse, one of Margaret’s colleagues at the University of Pecs, who lives in a small village outside of town.  The trip to Budapest needs it’s own post – too much to include here.

But first a bit about the photos above and below.   I took them a few weeks ago while on a walk around a part of Pecs called Uranvaros (“Uranium City”).  This is the community where the Uranium miners lived with their families in apartment blocks during the Soviet era (1950-80’s).   I can’t find any information on the monument, but the inscription reads:  “Ore Mining.”  It’s pretty awesome.

I'm usually not one to turn color photos into "arty" black and whites, but I couldn't help myself with this one of a street in Uranvaros. Sorry.

Last Friday our friends Renata and Zoltan took us to the Villány wine region about 15 miles southeast of Pecs.  People in this region have been making wine since before the Roman times.  After the 150 year Turkish occupation, the area was re-settled by Serbs and then Germans who brought their viticultural chops with them. We sampled some really nice red wines – a Rose, a Cabernet Sauvingon and a Portugeser.

Wine Cellars in Villanykovesd. The streets are lined with these small white buildings.

The back of each wine cellar extends under these raised berms with a ventilation pipe sticking up out of the ground. I don't remember the exact temperature in the cellars, but apparently it's perfect for wine and it's constant year round.

Margaret in the wine cellar in Villany.

The little place where we stopped to try the wines served this amazing appetizer - it's bread, slathered with goose fat, red onions, salt and paprika. It was hard to stop eating them.

A special note about goose fat:  it’s good for you!  So says the Goose Fat Information Service.

That same weekend we spent the day with Andy Rouse and his wife and son at their home in a small village near Pecs.  Andy, an Englishman, first came to Pecs as a university student in the 1970’s – he’s lived here ever since (you can go to his band’s website here:  Simply English).  Andy picked us up and drove us through a few villages, including Zengővárkony where Margaret had the opportunity to do one of her favorite things:  buy table cloths.

Margaret in her element - choosing the perfect hand-crafted table cloth. That's our friend, Andy Rouse, on the right.

And here's the woman who makes the table cloths.

And here's the loom she uses to make the table cloths.

The Egg Museum was right behind the table cloth shop.

Hungarians (mostly women, I think), are quite adept at decorating eggs. This place had thousands of eggs on display.

After the Egg Museum, Andy took us to his home in Martonfa where we had a palinka and some local wine down in their very own wine cellar.

James heading down into the wine cellar. The dog, a puli, waited for me.

Andy sest up outside to make one of my new favorite dishes: Paprikas Krumpli (potatoes). The puli stands guard.

Paprikas Krumpli: You start with a very cool metal pot that hangs over a fire, then you add the onion and bacon fat to the oil...

After the potatoes and smoked sausage, you add a little paprika. Or a lot of paprika.

If you've done it right, you end up with this beautiful, bright-red burbling pot of paprika potato and smoked sausage goodness.

Next post will feature images from our snowy weekend in Budapest.  We’ve got ten more days in Hungary — we’re getting ready to bring this wonderful trip (and this blog) in for a landing.


About patster66

I'm visiting Pécs, Hungary with my wife and son for the Fall 2010 semester. My wife, Margaret McMullan, received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and do research at the University of Pécs. My 13 year old son is attending a semi-bilingual school here called the ANK where I am teaching English Language and Drama to 4th - 8th graders 2 days a week.
This entry was posted in Food, Life in Pécs, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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