Name: Ottilia Ördög
Scran: Layered Cabbage
Mother Language: Hungarian
“Hi! My name is Ottilia Ördög. Or in Hungarian, Ördög Ottilia. The dish I’m presenting to you in these photographs is Layered Cabbage, which is a traditional Hungarian dish, or shall I say, Szekler Hungarian dish from Transylvania specifically. I am a Szekler Hungarian myself. I came to UK thirty years ago and I cook this dish along with my Mum, Magdalena Fazakas, or, in Hungarian, Fazakas Magdolna. The story that connects to this dish is a legend from Szeklerland in Transylvania. There are so many legends in Transylvania: every lake, every river, every mountain has a legend connected to it. This legend is about a giant, and it’s related to a hill, or a mountain, that’s nearby where I was born. Hope you enjoy it.”
The Legend of the ‘Giant Cellar Peak‘
“West of Eresztevény where the Olt and Feketeügy rivers merge, there’s a hill covering a tremendous amount of treasure.
At the beginning of time, when everything was still covered by water a giant lived here. He was so big that he only needed 2-3 steps to get to the Bálványos Castle or the Castle of Borosnyó.
He lived in peace with the other giants. However there came a time when everything changed in an instance. Mountains opened up in front of the waters and the landscape transformed. Where previously there was a deep sea it now turned into a meadow; the swiftly flowing waters carved valleys into the earth and in a blink of an eye the mountains grew to enormous heights.
People appeared, building villages here and there and started to do farming, creating their own laws and rules. In their world order there was no place for the giants. They had to leave.
Our giant’s fate was no different. He made such an enormous bag that it was the size of a small forest, but the tremendous amount of treasure he gathered throughout time still couldn’t fit into it.
He didn’t want to leave it behind for the people. “Let them scrape out their own chestnut.” he thought [meaning they should work for their own treasures/wellbeing/fortune]
He then took his spade and smashed it in the side of the hill. He dug such a huge pit that even he could half fit into it. He hid away his remaining treasure, then put the earth back on top of it and with his mile-long steps disappeared from the area forever.
People knew that there was treasure under the “Giant Cellar Peak”, so they were indeed digging labouriously: strong-handed lads, fathers, grandfathers throughout the centuries; but all in vain.
As the giant disappeared without a trace, so is his treasure hidden deep down below. So deep down, that humans like us could never reach it.”