The history of "kürtőskalács"

The "kürtőskalács" [kourtoesch-kaalatsch] is a typical Hungarian specialty from Transylvania. A festive bakery of the Szeklers, made for special events, like wedding, baptism, or the arrival of special guests. In Szeklerland it is still a living tradition.

The "kürtőskalács" is a sweet bakery made of yeast cake. Over the live coal the icing is flowing over the cake giving it’s real, specific taste. It contains only natural ingredients.

The "kürtőskalács" made in Szeklerland borrowed its name from the stovepipe, which in this region is called flue, and the wooden cylinder on which the cake is rolled looks indeed like a flue. The Szekler’s ingenuity showed that the live coals used for cooking and heating can be used for something else, too. So they have removed the coals from the stove, they were placed on or in front of the oven, and by rolling over and over the cake, they have baked this delicacy.

Even Balázs Orbán mentioned the "kürtőskalács" in his famous work: "Describing Szeklerland", in 1868.

There are various legends about the origin of the "kürtőskalács".

Of course we have chosen the one that is closer to us. It’s called “the dodge of Máréfalva”:


At the time, when the tartars have attacked the village, the villagers flew in the nearby cavern of Les Mountain. In short time the tartar army discovered where the villagers were hiding. The tartars came to the cavern, when the leader of the villagers killed the tartar leader with a single bowshot. Then the tartars planned to starve the villagers to death. When the villagers ran out of food, the leader’s wife had a genuine idea. They made a giant flue-shaped milk-loaf and showed the tartars they still had enough food. "We have enough food, but you are starving!" – said the villagers to the tartars. The tartars burnt out the village and left. The village has been rebuilt, and the "kürtőskalács" remained the one of the most popular bakery in Szeklerland.