Katona Irén – syrup and jam producer

by admin on 05/06/2015


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Driving through the village of Bögöz (Mugeni), we had to enter through a typical Szekler gate in order to arrive at Carved Gate B&B. Inside was a nice garden with a big lawn, a portico adjacent to a stone wall and an insulated roof isolating the inside from the strong heat outside. While the B&B of Irén Katona looks unassuming on the outside, it is an oasis on the inside in hot summers.

Since we were visiting her because of her products, Ms. Katona kindly served us syrup from fresh shoots of spruce, blueberry and elderberry, all of which she had picked herself. Besides, while the bottles were onion-shaped, the labels were custom-made for her products, making them look more personal. Besides picking everything herself, she’s also preparing everything herself in her own kitchen, always aiming for the highest quality and adding as few preservatives as possible. As expected from our first impression, all her syrups were delicious. Besides making syrups, she’s also making jams of blueberry, lingonberry and elderberry, all of which tasted savoury.

Explaining to us the origin of her products, she told us that her guests wanted something special from the area and then she realised that she could serve them her mother’s fruit syrups, which her guests liked very much. She started producing syrups commercially in 2009 having got a grant from Norway grants

She makes 300 litres of each product yearly and she sells them direct to locals and to customers further away in Romania, Hungary and France. Regarding the latter, a Frenchman from a French travel channel made a programme about her products and guesthouse, then, lots of French tourists started arriving. She also sells her products at farmers’ markets in Budapest and Bucharest.

Ms Katona and her husband are also active in developing the local community and they arrange a yearly summer camp for children where local kids play basketball with German kids, etc.

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