TOURISTS are generally very happy with the quality of gastronomic services in the capital city. But they said they want more opportunities to find original Bratislava (or Pressburg) specialties as well as other traditional Slovak cuisine, according to the results of a survey released by the Bratislava City Council in May.
“They [tourists] wondered why the Bratislava gastronomic community does not offer more authentic cuisine and specialities, as the impression of the tourists surveyed was that most restaurants offered modern European Mediterranean cuisine,” said Milan Vajda, the spokesperson of Bratislava City Council, as cited by the SITA newswire.
Vajda said the city council cannot order what meals restaurants will serve but that the council can use marketing initiatives to the advantage of those restaurants which offer more specialities of Slovak or Pressburg cuisine on their menus. He said the council might also organise some specialised events focused on local gastronomy.
Bratislava, also called Prešporok or Požoň in the past, was a mixed Slovak-German-Hungarian town with a significant Jewish community. Its cuisine was rich, mixing influences of various nationalities. One of those delicacies from the past, whose tradition has been revived, is Bratislavské rožky (Bratislava rolls), also known also as “pajgle”.
The history of these horseshoe-shaped cakes dates back to 1785 when Pressburg was the Hungarian Empire's site for coronations and had fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. On December 6 of that year, a new product appeared in the window of the Scheirmann bakery that grabbed the immediate attention of passers-by. These rolls, called beugle at that time, sold out immediately and began a food craze that spread to Vienna and Budapest. The Scheirmann bakery flourished and eventually launched itself as a family company.
This bakery product is better known around the world as the Vienna roll, but the head of Slovakia’s Guild of Bakers and Pastry Makers, Vojtech Szemes, believes historical documents clearly prove that this is a misnomer and that the rolls were surely first baked in Bratislava.