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If you are in Budapest and you happen to be at the mall just outside the Örs Vezér Tere stop on the Red Metro line, be sure to stop off at the food stand that sells palacsinta. It is reported to be wonderful there.

If, on the other hand, you are in the center of the city, close to the east bank of the Danube River, the palacsinta sold at the Great Market Hall are also said to be superb.

Palacsinta are thin, egg-based pancakes that are rolled and stuffed with fillings that are usually sweet. Jams, nuts, sweet cheese and chocolate are popular fillings, and so too — it being Hungary, after all — is sour cream. Savory versions often include meat cooked with sour cream, paprika and tomatoes.

It sounds like a crepe, right?

Palacsinta are Hungarian crepes. Or to put it another way, crepes are French palacsinta. And just like crepes, palacsinta are a popular street food, sold in food stands around Hungary — and also in neighboring Romania, where they are called palatschinke.

Actually, palacsinta (and also paltschinke) are different from crepes in one key respect: They are a bit thinner.

Making palacsinta thinner than crepes is easy. You make a batter that is similar to a crepe batter, and just before cooking it you add some soda water. I saw one reference saying that in Hungary they use any fizzy drink, including lemon-lime soft drinks, but I just used plain soda water, because yuck.

Does the soda water make a difference? I think it does. The palacsinta were lighter than other crepes I’ve made, and I could definitely notice the bubbles when I sampled some of the batter before cooking it. I’m not convinced that same sensation lasted after they were cooked, however.

Because I wanted to explore the entire palacsinta experience, I decided to try a good half-dozen fillings.

You can put anything you want in palacsinta, from ice cream to strawberries that have marinated for an hour or two in balsamic vinegar (the result is mostly sweet, not tart). One colleague whose grandmother was Hungarian said her family used to just sprinkle granulated sugar on them before rolling them up.

I decided to make a traditional sweet cheese filling. If there is a name for it, I do not know it and haven’t been able to find it. You begin with ricotta cheese, though some people use dry cottage cheese, and mix in an egg yolk, some sugar, a couple of drops of vanilla and some lemon zest.

This concoction, whatever it may be called, is simply astounding. It is better than it sounds. It is better than I thought it would be. It is so good, I decided to try some on an English muffin, too.

Not a good idea. Stick to palacsinta. And if you do make palacsinta, be sure to use this sweet cheese filling in at least some of them.

For my other fillings, I made a chocolate ganache — chocolate melted into cream — which goes well with everything and especially with crepes. I also had some homemade strawberry jam in my fridge, so I used that in some others, and I bought apricot jam and used that too, mixed with walnuts as is often done in Hungary.

Finally, I tried to re-create a filling that I read about, sour cream with rum raisins. I didn’t have time to allow the raisins to get plump in the rum, so I just mixed raisins and a little rum in sour cream and added ground walnuts, a bit of vanilla and more sugar than I thought I was going to need.

It was a little tangy, a little sweet and entirely delicious with palacsinta. But it still wasn’t as good as that sweet cheese filling.

Daniel Neman is a food writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.