Jókai Style Bean Soup

“Angel ankle boot with Greek rosary”. Would anybody know what does this lyrical expression mean? The answer: it is the favourite food, bean soup with pork knuckle, of one of the most outstanding writers of Hungarian literary history, Mór Jókai born in 1825.

The Academist Gastronomer

Besides his indefeasible merits, Mór Jókai’s name’ cannot be separated from Hungarian gastronomic literature. Member of the Board of Directors of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, parliamentarian, he was famous for his refined culinary taste, too.

In his novel “The Heartless Man's Sons” published in 1869, he describes the superb dish as follows:

Well, Paul, what are we going to have for lunch, today? – asked the captain who has just returned home.

Mr Paul was also a cook, namely.

“Well, “Greek rosary” – replied Mr. Paul imperturbably.

That should be good – said the captain. What did you cook in it?

“Angel ankle boot.”

That sounds as a superb dish! Have you set the table for me, Mr. Paul?

 

Actually, the writer immortalized a dish created by him. While spending time in his favourite summer resort, Balatonfüred, he ordered a dish to his own taste, i.e., with pork knuckle, beans, sour cream and sausages. From this on, he always ate this superb one-course-dish cooked the same.  Legend has it that the hooves of the pig were a compulsory ingredient of the dish, too, since Jókai liked pork trotters with the hooves left on them. When exactly this dish was named Jókai Style Bean Soup, it cannot be precisely determined. The legendary restaurateur, the father of Hungarian hospitality, Károly Gundel wrote as follows: “(Jókai) likes the bean soup with hooves of a smoked (sucking) pig, but on the one hand where can one find it nowadays and on the other hand, we just cannot know when and in which restaurant was the soup named after the writer.”

The popularity of Jókai Style Bean Soup is undiminished and it is one of the top three preferred Hungarian dishes nowadays. The best proof of the excellence of this dish is the fact that it was added to the French gastronomic literature under the name of „Soupe d’hamcots see a la Jókai”.