Langoš

A popular Czech dish that's actually Hungarian

You can find langoš in most fast food stalls in cities around the Czech Republic which leads people to believe that it's a traditional Czech dish. It is actually a popular Hungarian fast food in the form of fried bread. It was originally made in a brick oven which explains it's name: “láng” is the Hungarian word for flame.

Unlike the Czech version, original Hungarian langoš can be made with yogurt, sour cream or milk instead of water. In addition to this, mashed potatoes can be added to the flour for a fuller taste. While Czechs like to top off their version with cheese, garlic and ketchup – Hungarians prefer sour cream, grated cheese, garlic/garlic butter and they douse everything with garlic water.

Traditionally it was prepared as a breakfast in the front part of the oven. Today it is no longer baked but instead deep fried in oil. Austrians, Croatians, Czechs, Serbs, Slovaks and Romanians serve it at fair and outdoor events but they all use alternations to the original Hungarian recipe.

Despite the fancy looking tools that are used to make the delicious calorific delight, it is pretty simple to prepare it at home. In less than 30 minutes you can make up to 10 langošes using just 7 ingredients: garlic, cheese, ketchup, salt, milk, dry yeast and flour. Some recipes include kneading and more ingredients such as this one or you can opt for an easier one to start off with.

There are many theories about why langoš is so popular. Some say it's the best method for dealing with the effects of Hungarian pálinka which is the equivalent of Czech slivovice. Especially when deep fried, langoš is the great tool for soaking up alcohol and is sometimes known as Hungarian pizza. It is the ultimate hangover cure because it's so fatty.

Supposedly 100 grams of this yummy fried bread only has about 320 calories. This doesn't necessarily include the toppings which can consist of obnoxious amounts of gooey cheese, garlic in all forms and of course the deep fried version is much less healthy than the oven-baked.

Due to it's unique sweet and salty taste it can be eaten as breakfast, lunch or dinner and it works as an appetizer, main course or even dessert. It is popular among people of all ages and despite having many calories, it is still healthier than many other fast food options. It is also usually made with fresh ingredients so you can avoid consuming unnecessary preservative. Another plus is that it's vegetarian!

In Prague you can enjoy langoš at stands in Old Town Square, St. Wenceslas Square and even restaurants. There is a Facebook fan page with over 5,000 likes for the popular cheesy and garlic-enhanced deep fried bread that goes oh so well with Czech beer.

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