Budapest I. kerület
After gaining independence, their apprentices opened their own, now Hungarian kitchens. Initially, they sold their wares to merchants and caterers. They didn’t usually have their own shop, and especially not one in which guests could sit down and enjoy the desserts they produced, but from the 1820s and 30s confectioneries slowly began to become a popular site for social life in the country’s larger cities.
While coffee houses were usually suited to the tastes and requirements of the menfolk, confectioneries catered to the needs of the female public and conjured up a salon atmosphere. In contrast to the cigar and pipe smoke filled coffee houses, smoking was not allowed here – in the interests of protecting the desserts. Because they were regarded as “comme il faut” (French: as necessary) places, women could visit them alone and young men could meet with their beloved according to the rules of etiquette. They could be absolutely sure of having attracted the vigilant gaze of every single one of the city’s old matrons.
The waitresses were pretty confectionery girls, who stood behind the counter wearing white aprons with their hair carefully combed back. In addition to sweet and salted pastries and ice cream, they also offered tea-time drinks (coffee with whipped cream, cocoa and tea), refreshments (lemonade, raspberry syrup) and even liqueurs (the latter of which were originally prepared by the confectioners themselves, then later by specialised producers and distilleries). Pastries and cakes were also sold to take home, and the more elegant shops packaged these in their own boxes, which they had especially designed by well-known artists.
The shown hereby patisseries preserve the flavours and atmosphere of the early 20th century's Budapest.