Thursday, August 23, 2007

How Sweet It Is

In early summer we took Mom and Bip to Szentendre, a tiny twee tourist town just up the Danube Bend. Szentendre comes complete with churches, cafes, rip-off restaurants, and of course, tourist museums.

I had heard there was a Marzipan Museum and I was determined to keep mom away from it. I knew it was exactly the sort of thing she’d insist on seeing. When we inevitably stumbled upon it, she got that look in her eye and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I groaned and braced myself for 15 minutes of mind-numbing Marzipan history. Cue the marzipan cactus!

I wish my camera had been better at photographing the many glories of the museum. Still life tableaux of lobsters, pumpkins, fruits and flowers. Dioramas of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Scooby Doo, and the Muppet Show. Nativity crèches. Scenes from exotic fairytales with names like “The Magic Radish.” Life-size statues of heroic police dogs. Framed portraits of Beethoven, Mozart, and Princess Di. Terrifying Bunnies. All made out of marzipan!

Some of the marzipan sculptures were frankly puzzling. In “USA Music Truck, The Fifties!” rock musicians wearing sinister white masks play on the back of a cattle truck. The Ninja Turtles, who apparently have their own marzipan genre, crouch on the truck’s roof, poised to leap down and overwhelm the masked musicians.

But the museum is not just amusing—it’s patriotic. How about a little Saint-King?

It’s Saint Istvan himself, and his glorious Saint-Crown!

…If only they had a marzipan version of his Holy Right Hand. Oh, I’m sorry, did you want to see a marzipan model of Hungarian Parliament?

What about a real-life Hungarian Olympic Hero?

This speedskater is (we learned from the English placard) a direct descendant of Renaissance King Matyas Hunyadi:

…But apparently the douche skates for Austria (gahr!)

And of course, what marzipan museum would be complete without…the King of Pop?

The materials listed on his placard are “Marzipan, White Chocolate.” Look at how strangely realistic his face is. Is marzipan the best possible medium for a portrait of Michael Jackson?


jessamynit said...


I SO wish I could've been there!

that king of pop shit is amazing. white chocolate! I'm floored.

please tell me you got to eat some marzipan?! my fave!

Ganch said...

Thanks to Jackie for the dinosaur picture! So much better than mine...