Chocolate comes in many shapes, sizes, and flavours. There are internationally known chocolate brands that you can find in shops wherever you go in the world. Here in Hungary, we have some distinctive brands of chocolate that are unique to the country. You surely agree that they are yummy, don’t you?
Sport is one of the most popular Hungarian chocolate bars. Its taste comes from a layer of dark chocolate which envelops a light cocoa-fondant filling enhanced with the essence of rum. The bars come in small, normal and extra large sizes, and they are also available with milk chocolate and nuts. The chocolate bar dates back to 1953. It was launched around the same time as the sports stadium, we now know as Ferenc Puskás Stadium, was completed. The original version was wrapped in aluminum foil and covered with green and yellow paper. Now the packaging is more modern, but the distinctive green and yellow colours are the same.
This chocolate bar got its name from the biggest lake in Hungary. It is made of wafers pressed together with cocoa-cream layers and then coated in milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate. There is a nutty and rum version of Balaton too. This chocolate bar comes in different sizes as well. Its aluminum foil wrapper shows a happy Balaton lake scene: bright beams of sunshine illuminating shimmering water.
It was legendary confectioner Emil Gerbeaud who introduced macskanyelv (cat’s tongue) at the end of the 19th century. Macskanyelv is a sliver of a chocolate resembling the feline tongue. In the mid-1930s Hungarian chocolate manufacturer, Szerencsi, started selling the chocolates in long, narrow boxes. The brand fell out of favour for a while but bringing the delicacy back to the shops in the early 2010s proved to be an immediate success.
Tibi is not just the name of a chocolate bar, but a brand of all kinds of chocolates including chocolate blocks. There are many versions to choose from: milk, white and dark chocolate, with flavours like peach, biscuits, and strawberry. Tibi chocolate was named after the grandson of the factory founder and it appeared on the shop shelves first in 1941. It was originally planned for children and could be bought in 2,5 and 5 dkg sizes. The slogan “tibi is not only mums’ favourite” advertised the chocolate on posters. The product soon became popular among adults, too, so the original slogan had to be changed to “tibi is not only children’s favourite”.
Just like Tibi, Boci is another Hungarian chocolate brand in many versions. White, dark or milk chocolate with all kinds of different fillings and there exists a wafer version as well. In 1992 Nestlé acquired three chocolate factories in Hungary including the one producing Boci (little cow). Nestlé built upon the strength of the Boci name but decided to create a more premium chocolate by replacing the smoky taste of Boci with the taste of Swiss milk chocolate. Then they launched the new Boci chocolate, complete with a redesign of the packaging.
Konyakmeggy (Cherry Queen) is another creation of Emil Gerbeaud. He conserved unhurt, seedless sour cherries in cognac, and then dipped them into dark chocolate. Sugar and alcohol dissolved into a characteristic filling after a while resulting in a crispy outside and creamy inside real Hungarian specialty. The secret of the unique liquid cream under the chocolate cover is that the alcoholic sour cherry comes into reaction with the fondant cream, and liquefies it. The most well-known cherry praline has been called Cherry Queen since 1996. It is produced on the basis of the original recipe.
Dunakavics and Francia drazsé
Dunakavics (Danube pebbles) and Francia drazsé (French dragee) production started in 1964. Dunakavics are multi-coloured lumpy sugar covered peanuts, Francia drazsé are small orbs of sugar-covered chocolates. The lumpy coating of Dunakavics resembles a hardened piece of already-chewed gum, but it’s so very delicious. It has often been subject of debate among many who prefers Dunakavics and who prefers Francia drazsé. The debate is not easy to settle as both of the products have been selling very well since they were launched.
In a retro wrapper emblazoned with a drawing of a cute little bear (“maci” is Hungarian for “teddy bear”) among peanuts, along with Budapest’s name added at the top, Maci is also a highly popular brand. It comes in 100 gram bars big enough for splitting among friends. It is a peanut-infused milk-chocolate bar. It’s a sweet temptation hard to resist and makes a very good present to take home from the country as a nice reminder of Hungary.