May 7, 2011

Pálinka and Broderie Anglaise

What is pálinka? The lovely, fruity, rich and very strong national spirit of Hungary. Why is it so good? It's made entirely of fruit, and fruit, and more fruit. What sort of fruit? Any and all types, really, from plum and apricot to walnut, quince, and all the berries you can imagine. Why am I writing about this? Because this weekend the famed Pálinka Festival, where all the distillers present their best pálinkas, is held in the Castle of Budapest, and obviously we had to pay a visit!




My favourite type, the "ágyas pálinka" (fruit-bed pálinka) is aged together with fruits - even more fruitier! Here, I am tasting a green walnut pálinka... Look at the colour, enjoy the rich scent, then taste! Wonderful!




Good pálinka has a culture, just like wine. I never used to like alcohol, but gradually warmed to wine and pálinka, mostly because of the work that goes into making them. Hungary is not a beer country, but we're really very good at wine. And pálinka. :)

But you might also be interested in what I wore, so here's a picture where you can sort of see all of me... (and a bit of the castle.)


If you wondered what Broderie Anglaise is, it's the embroidery technique used on my blouse, involving cutting out the patterns from the material.


This blouse was made by my Mother when she was younger, using an old pillow case. Can you imagine the care that used to go into embroidering pillowcases? I'm so amazed by the detailing on this ex-bedlinen. It felt fitting to wear it to an event celebrating practically handmade drinks.

Top - handmade by an unknown housewife, refashioned by my Mother, 
Leather skirt - thrifted, Leggings with holes - Chinese shop, Ballerinas - Vagabond, 
Clip-on earrings - handmade by me, Bracelet - by my lovely little Cousin,
Necklace that looks like a huge doodle by an annoyed child - Rossmann.

31 comments:

leannaburrows said...

Ooh, sounds super yummy! Looks like you had a good time!
Those tights/pants/legging (can't really tell from the pic. lol) are really awesome. :)

http://thevioletreaction.blogspot.com/

Madeline Quaint said...

It was great indeed, Leanna!
And yeah, those are leggings, sorry for the not very helpful picture. :)

Michelle Loreto said...

Hmmm, sounds interesting and quite nice! I'll definitely have to add it to my list of things to try. Cute outfit, and lovely photos.

x Michelle
http://www.thefeatherden.net

Stacey Ko said...

wow! i don't know how it happend but i was just there today))

Madeline Quaint said...

Brilliant! Did you like it, Stacey?
We went on Friday, but next time we should organise in advance and we could actually meet. :)

Madeline Quaint said...

Hey, Michelle, nice of you to stop by!
Pálinkas are definitely worth a try, if you need any advice in which one to get, drop me a line. :)

Stacey Ko said...

oh,no. I just was walking around. and i don't live in Buda(

Madeline Quaint said...

I know, you live in Debrecen, right? Not very close to Buda castle. :)

Stacey Ko said...

:DD right. )

Stacey Ko said...

so.wait. are you hungarian?

Titine Totoche said...

Hello!! I loooove the shirt, it's amazing someone took the time to handmake such a pretty pillowcase, and then it's really cool how your Mother made it into a shirt!

Also thanks for the pálinka lesson, it's so nice to learn about different traditions from other countries. Do yo accompany the drink with a special type of food, and can you have it any time during the day??

Oh you're welcome about the prize hehe, no prob in doing it or anything ;)

Sarah said...

I love these little peeks into your life in Hungary. I desperately want to travel the world, but for now I will have to settle for seeing it in photos. (: That pillowcase/shirt is really incredible. That's so neat that you get to have it now. It really looks quite dressy.

Madeline Quaint said...

Yes, indeed, I am. For better or worse. :)

Madeline Quaint said...

Hey Pau, the embroidery on some simple household linen in Hungary is indeed amazing.

About the pálinka - there's a way of saying good morning involving pálinka, so there definitely were some men who even started their days off with it. :) Mostly you would drink it after a meal though, as it helps you digest. Also, there are some really nice café bars in Budapest where you can choose from about a 100 different flavours and have them with bar food. It's really not about getting drunk, but rather enjoying the flavours, with friends, in a nice atmosphere... :)

Madeline Quaint said...

I'm glad you like the local stuff, I'm planning to do more of it, so stick around until you can travel here. :)

Stacey Ko said...

btw,You got award from me!

here:
http://staceyko.blogspot.com/2011/05/time-for-awards.html

Kirstin said...

Wow, your mom made that blouse? Amazing! This looks like such a fun day!

Madeline Quaint said...

Wow, thank you! I'm flattered. :)

Madeline Quaint said...

Yes, she refashioned it from an old pillowcase. She used to sew a lot when me and my Sister were small. :)

Titine Totoche said...

Hello! Oooh that's so cool! Thanks for the info, I really feel like trying some pálinka now hehe!

Gracey Pankey said...

What a wonderful post. That blouse is amazing. Thank you for sharing these pictures.

Madeline Quaint said...

I'm glad to hear that! :)

Madeline Quaint said...

My pleasure, and thank you, Gracey! :)

MJ said...

The thing about palinka reminds me of this spirit my (normally painfully shy) Romanian friend/fellow geologist brought to a formal geology dinner in a plastic bottle! It was that colour and tasted like I imagine that would, and it's a kind of native spirit of Romania. We went to the bar afterwards and the Geology Fellow of my college, probably the biggest volcano expert in the world, got totally hammered on it!

In short, I hope you had as much fun with this. :D

Madeline Quaint said...

Hehe, I'm sure it was a similar drink! Bottled pálinka is strong enough, but home brews can be extremely strong, called "kerítésszaggató", meaning "fence-breaker", alluding to the fact that after drinking some, you would fall into your garden instead of walking in. :D

Britty said...

wow girl great post mhm really! i love your outfit your leggings are sweet amd sweet necklace!

Madeline Quaint said...

Thanks Britty! :) Nice to see you again!

Lea said...

:D I love the pictures of you with the wine glass. So cute ! Actually, I love this post generally. You look so happy and relaxed in these. It's so sweet that your mom made the blouse :)

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you, Lea! I must look relaxed as it wasn't an "I must make pictures" situation, but a natural one. :)
Plus, the green walnut pálinka is my favourite so no acting is involved. :)

Ladyofashion said...

What a lovely pillowcase turned into a brilliant blouse! These pictures are anazing as well. Just found your blog. Cheers!
Madison
www.ladyofashion.com

Annaoukv said...

What a wonderful post. That blouse is amazing. Thank you for sharing these pictures.