I think we can confidently say that out of all our foods, the dish we know most commonly as tócsni has been given the largest variety of unique names (bandurák, bere, beré, berét, berhe, bramborák, cicedli, cicege, enge-menge, görhöny, hadi rántotta, harula, huláble, kremzli, krumplibaba, krumplimálé, krumpliprósza, lapcsánka, lapotya, lapotyka, lapsi, lepcsánka, lepkepotyi, mackó, macok, matutka, nyist, picskedli, plácki, ragujla, recsege, röstiburgonya, rösztike, taccs, tócsi, toksa).
Translated by Tamás Vaski
The origin of tócsni is unknown, but following the lead of its lapcsánka name, which originates from the Slovakian word chliebčanka (bread chunk), it is assumed that this dish comes from Felvidék (Upper Hungary, today Slovakia). Its preparation, presentation, and form vary by country as well. While most cultures consider it a side dish, tócsni served, similarly to lángos (beaver tails), with sour cream and garlic, has secured its place at our table with the status of a main course.
Historically, tócsni was always a regular and inexpensive weekly solution at the dinner tables of people from lower socio-economic strata, as it was essentially only a mixture of potatoes and flour being baked, typically with garlic. People may often differentiate between tócsni and lapcsánka, baking the two differently. While tócsni is typically baked, like crepes, in a pan without lard, lapcsánka is prepared similarly to lángos, with generous amounts of oil.
There is no question around how rich and unique our preparation of this dish is. This is especially the case when considering that tócsni is one of the most popular and well-known Hungarian dishes to the many tourists from the United Kingdom, attending Hungarian festivals and purchasing huge amounts of a food which, to them, is akin to their morning hash brown.
- 450 g peeled potatoes
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 egg
- 5 heaped tablespoons flour
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- Black pepper
- Oil or cooking fat for baking
Grate the peeled, raw potatoes in the largest holes of a grater. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. If the potatoes let out too much liquid, add some more flour. Just make sure that the mixture stays soft and chunky, with the emphasis on the potato chunks.
Tear the mixture into smaller, flatter pieces and make small tears in each of them with a little spoon. Then, in a pan of hot oil or cooking fat, fry both sides of each piece until they are nice and reddish.
This can be served as a side dish, but it is also excellent on its own, especially when garnished with cheese or sour cream. Enjoy!
Photos and featured photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today