The Hungarian Canteen or ‘Menza’ – Part 2

Click here for Part 1.

Let’s continue our journey down memory lane. We were at the main courses 🙂

Children at the canteen. Photo Source: premier.mtv.hu.

Common or garden sorrel (‘sóska’), and spinach (‘spenót’) puré: let me describe these 2 together, as a kid couldn’t really tell them apart: they were both green, pureed and sweet, barely any difference, although sóska was normally served with a few boiled potato chunks and spinach came with a boiled egg. Delicious, isn’t it?

Sóska or Common Sorrel. Photo Source: mindmegette.hu

Common Sorrel

Spinach Puré. Photo Source: frissradio.hu.

Spinach Pizza. This is something my colleagues have not heard about – must have been a speciality of my school. It was a simple small frozen crust pizza disk (1 per kid), with a spinach spread on top. Period. Now this is the one that was commonly hated! Still we ate it because it was pizza, after all 🙂

There was meat too, breaded or stewed: breaded meat (normally pork) was generally liked, even if it was more fat than meat. Stewed meat was normally served with egg barley (“Tarhonyáshús“), always more egg barley than meat, with pickled gherkins – yum! This was one of my favourites 🙂

Tarhonyáshús. Photo Source: http://zsuzsifoz.blogspot.com/2008/08/bogrcsos-tarhonyshs.html.

Pasta! Another good thing. 3 types worth mentioning:
Pasta milanese, made of who knows what, never really tasted like the ‘real deal’, but it was always sweet which meant success with the kids. Sometimes there was a slice of breaded pork rib on top – now that way this dish was truly for champions: huge plate of heavy food for little kids’ stomachs.
Krumplistészta or pasta with potatoes. A curious and simple combination of pasta and potatoes, but it was always a winner – and still is, it is time to introduce this dish to my boyfriend. Strictly with pickles!
Grízestészta or semolina pasta, another favourite. My mom hates it (probably bad memories from the school canteen?) but I’m a big fan, with powdered sugar and jam on top, I considered it a delightful meal. I have to admit I have never done it and my only source is my grandmother – I definitely have to ask for the recipe!

Milánói borda or Pasta Milanese. Photo Source: http://sgforum.hu.


And finally, the treat! As I remember, everyone loved it, even fought for it if it was necessary and tried to be on good terms with the kitchen staff to get their hands on the biggest piece:
Sponge cake with chocolate pudding sauce. YES, this was considered as a main course. Seriously. But for now let’s say this was a dessert, as I do not remember any other – there might have been some cakes every now and then, but unfortunately none of them left a big impression on me – the sponge cake simply cancelled all the other memories.

Piskóta Csokoládé Öntettel (Sponge cake with chocolate sauce). Photo Source: http://www.gasztromanko.hu/menzas-piskotakocka-csokiontettel.


Now you might be smiling or surprised or even shocked after reading this, but don’t worry! We all grew up to be strong and healthy adults 😉

–> Do you have memories from school canteens? Did you maybe even have a favourite? Share!

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