Whether in weekend houses, campings, at company retreats, or in roadside “csárda” restaurants offering live Gypsy music and geared to German tourists, outdoor cooking was extremely popular and clearly had momentum in Hungary in the second half of the 20th century. A suburban condo building would never be designed without a shared fireplace in the patio. The tricks of the old shepherds and fishermen filtered into big city life, though they changed quite a bit along the way.
The second half of the 20th century saw major changes in food consumption throughout the world: new types of ready and ready-to-cook meals, frozen and canned goods appeared on the shelves transforming daily life and our daily routines. While in the West, these new technologies boosted the lucrative character of food production and food commerce, in the Eastern Block the innovations were praised as bringing the promise of a flawless and perfectly planned socialist economy and of a standardized daily life. These revolutionary changes in the food industry indeed had an impact on everyday life: self-service canteens and self-service shops opened, including a chain of fully automated grocery stores called Közért. New types of household appliances appeared in homes, while pantries almost completely disappeared and kitchens shrunk to a minimum size. While some of the new features introduced back in those days are so common sense today that we could not even imagine our lives without them, some turned out to be a dead end.
Whimsical urban scenes in Sándor Kereki’s snapshots published after 50 years /// People on the grandstand keenly focusing the trotting racecourse; children watching a car race from the roof of a car in the People’s Park; a man absorbed in reading the papers on Andrássy Avenue – these astoundingly great street photos were shot by a boy from Budapest who started photographing as a grammar schooler and already quit this hobby at university. Today, about 1,800 of Sándor Kereki’s photographs were shared on Fortepan, fifty years after they were taken.