The end of May usually brings more sunshine, higher temperatures and a whole lot of outdoor activities. Walking trips, open-air goulash parties, or traditional Maypole dancing – they are all splendid events that deserve a visit. I managed to squeeze all of them in a weekend trip to a small town of Detva.
I started my journey at the ‘U Boriakov’ bakery, a family-run business near Detva that is well-known for their delicious strudels. When I showed up at eight on Friday morning, a few batches of an apple strudel were already cooling down in the storeroom. The bakers had been working from six o’ clock. The father and mother both at retirement age yet still active, a son and three daughters plus a friend from the neighbourhood all knew their place in the house-turn-small-factory.
A large kitchen that took up most of the ground floor was equipped with two sizeable ovens, which sent an irresistible smell all over the place. I tried hard to focus on the photography to diverse my thoughts from the strudels, but it proved a lost battle. I hadn’t had breakfast that morning and my stomach wouldn’t be happy with ‘digital food’. Fortunately, the bakers decided to have their morning coffee break at nine and I was invited for a nice cup of tea. It came with a plate full of heavenly strudel and a good-natured conversation. All my senses were utterly pleased, and my stomach more than satisfied.
It was much easier afterwards to follow the baking process, ask the right questions, and admire the bakers’ skilled work.
Although the ground poppy seed strudel is by far the most popular, they also do other fillings like nuts, apples, curds as well as combinations of these, which are often enriched with cherries or other seasonal fruit. There’s a special filling for the wedding strudel that is in great demand too.In the final stage of strudel making, the bakers lift the large cotton sheet the dough has rested on and they roll it in by pulling and moving the sheet simultaneously. The long strudel is then divided into equal parts by a special measuring device designed and made by the father. After that, the strudels are transferred onto a baking tray, brushed with melted butter all over their tops, and baked.
When they come out of the oven, they look like this:
Or like this:Mouth-watering, isn’t it? Well, it’s no surprise that Detvian Strudel got a ‘Regional Product of Podpolanie’ award for the second consecutive year. It’s a highly respected label that honours quality, traditional production, as well as the use of local labour and ingredients.
If you want to experience the strudel making yourself, just send me a message and I’ll try to arrange a visit for you: