Hungary Roma restaurant eases prejudice through food

Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:57am EDT
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By Marton Dunai

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - If you thought the reproductive parts of swine couldn't come near the menu of a chic restaurant, think again.

For one recently opened eatery in the Hungarian capital the fallopian tube, for centuries only consumed by the country's Roma minority, is a delicacy indeed.

The restaurant, tucked away in a slowly gentrifying inner area of Budapest in a crumbling hundred-plus year-old building, goes by the name Romani Platni, meaning Roma Stove in the Romani language.

Part home restaurant, part social experiment, it is meant to open Roma kitchens to Hungarians, and open Hungarians to better understanding the ways of the Roma, who have been misunderstood and discriminated against for generations.

Strange intestines work wonders to challenge ingrained perceptions, says Sandor Orsos, 36, who leads the project.

"We have tried very hard to avoid stereotypes and cook like my grandmother used to," he said while preparing dinner for 16 recently. "You think people run screaming from the oviducts (fallopian tubes). But one group a while back came specifically for that dish."

So they got it. Ordered from a trusted butcher and stripped clean, the tubes were cooked with garlic, then chopped up into thumb-length bits, and fried with bacon until curly.

"It's as nutritious as pork gets, and it tastes exquisite," Orsos said. "Its consistency resembles chicken; I'm not much of a pork eater, but I like this dish a lot."   Continued...

Head chef Malvin Nemeth, better known as Aunt Malvin, shows off her dance moves in a Budapest restaurant that serves food traditionally eaten by Hungary's Roma minority, April 21, 2012. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh