Food is a great way of helping people get in touch with their culture. Someone born to parents from different countries might have only been able to taste a certain kind of cooking. For example, Nadia Van Dyne, the daughter of Hank Pym and a Hungarian woman called Maria Trovaya, may have grown up with limited exposure to her Hungarian roots.
Nadia’s childhood was spent in the Red Room and she only managed to escape after gaining Pym Particles. Determined to learn more about her parents, Nadia became the second Wasp. After escaping from the Red Room, she would have likely wanted to try as many different dishes as possible. For this edition of Comic Kitchen, I’ve put together a Hungarian inspired menu that would help Nadia feel closer to her heritage.
Starter – Jam Lángos
I can imagine Wasp wandering the streets of a city like Budapest, taking in all the sights, smells and sounds. Her curiosity would be peaked by the variety of street food on offer, and I could see her starting off with a plate of Lángos.
A Hungarian speciality, Lángos is a type of flat bread made from a combination of water, milk, flour, yeast, sugar and salt. The name comes from the Hungarian word for flame and it was traditionally baked in the ashes of a fireplace. The modern version of the dish is fried in oil and comes with different toppings, such as sour cream, grated cheese, ham and sausage.
I picture Nadia having a sweet tooth, so her Lángos would be smothered with jam. She’d enjoy the contrast of the sweetness and crunchiness.
Main – Pörkölt
After her starter, Nadia would continue her journey through Budapest until she reached a place like the Jewish Quarter, where music spills out of every bar and club. She’d sit down to rest in one of the quieter cafes and choose a hearty main course like Pörkölt.
This traditional Hungarian meal is made of boneless meat and galuska (Hungarian dumplings) seasoned with paprika. It can be accompanied by vegetables as well. Nadia would likely mix the meat and dumplings together to get the most out of the flavours.
As she ate, she’d probably wonder why Hungarians love putting paprika on everything and then decide to start adding paprika to her cooking when she got back to America.
Dessert – Kürtőskalács
Once she finished her main, Wasp would be craving something sweet again. I’d see her gravitating towards a food stall that sold Kürtőskalács, which is also known as chimney cake. The recipe is meant to have originated in Romania, but was adopted by Hungary in later years.
The dessert is made from sweet yeast dough that is wrapped into a chimney shape on a baking spit. Then, it’s roasted on charcoal and coated in sugar and butter. As the sugar caramalises, it forms a crispy outer crust that is golden-brown in colour. Additional ingredients like cinammon, nuts or chocolate might also be added.
I’d picture Nadia flying up onto a building overlooking the Danube river. She’d get comfortable, watch the sun set and tuck into her Kürtőskalács, enjoying the sensation of living in the moment, of being at one with her heritage.
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