We are in Hungary. If you’re roaming the aisles of a local grocery store in search of one of the country’s most popular chocolate bars, look no further than the refrigerated dairy section.
What apparently is the thing that most Hungarians living abroad miss the most, the snack known as Túró Rudi is basically a curd-filled treat.
Túró is literally translated as “cottage cheese”, but the term misleads those who expect a classic curds sitting in tangy whey water, as the Hungarian version is more similar to quark or fromage blanc, a style of fresh, creamy cheese. And locals make it from fresh milk or buttermilk.
Túró Rudi began as a homemade sweet produced on family farms in the countryside.
Traditionally, women crafted logs of fresh túró from their cows’ milk, and then smothered them in chocolate. The first little brown stick was born in 1963 and the modern, packaged version still coats the treat in chocolate, but uses a sweetened dairy curd stick, which resembles cheesecake, avaible now also in other flavors, including strawberry, coconut, and apricot.
Over the last 50 years, Túró Rudi has undergone a variety of ingredient and design changes. Various companies produce the bar, but the most easily recognized edition has a wrapper branded with iconic red dots, made by Pöttyös (“with polka dots”), and this is the reason why the English name for it is Dots.
Curious fact, Hungary was under communism in 1968 and everything–even the advertisements–was censored. When the boss of the advertising company heard the name Túró Rudi, he would not give permission to advertise it, because he thought it has an obscene name. The reason? “Rudi” is “Stick” in English, but it also has an erotic meaning, and I think you can easily figure out which part of the body i’m talking about 🙂
So, it had to start its carrier without any advertisements. But, clearly, it was not a problem.
If you are visiting Hungary, you can find it everywhere. Yes, literally. You can buy it in every shop, but also outside of shops including in gas stations, cinemas or bakeries.
Images from web – Google Research