First of all, let us admit it: Hungarians love eating. As a matter of fact the Hungarian cuisine is way more than goulash and paprika, nevertheless it has preserved its traditions, as well. Today, it offers a vivid fusion of authenticity and modernity.
Hungary, situated in the heart of Europe, has a wealth of culture and history. Besides unique ingredients – such as Mangalica pork, goose or duck liver - exciting creations attract foodies and connoisseurs from all over the world.
Here is a list with some of our authentic Hungarian meals one should not miss when visiting our country:
- · starters: foie gras, sausages (hurka, kolbász), pancake Hortobágyi style (palacsinta), cold ones include paprika cheese spread (körözött) with our crescent roll (kifli) or soft scone (pogácsa)
- · soups: gulyás, fish soup (halászlé), broth/consommé (húsleves), cold fruit soup
- · ’snacks’: deep fried flat bread with garlic/sour cream/cheese (lángos), chimney cake (kürtőskalács)
- · main dishes: stuffed cabbage with sour cream (töltött káposzta), stew (pörkölt) made of beef/chicken/gizzard/pork/venison or even vegetable stew (lecsó)
- · side dishes: potato in various forms, small dumplings like noodles (nokedli), egg barley (tarhonya) and in addition to these, pickles (savanyúság)
- when it comes to extras, sour cream, hot/sweet paprika are also on the table
- · desserts: cottage cheese dumplings, dumplings filled with plums (túró/szilvásgombóc), Gundel pancake (palacsinta), strudel with apple/quark/poppy seed/cherry filling (rétes), Somlói trifle (Somlói galuska), chestnut purée (gesztenyepüré)
Last but not least when bumping into a dessert bar named “Túrórudi” (a curd bar coated with chocolate), it is worth a try!
For advocates of the world of fine dining, the right to host the Bocuse d’Or and the Chaine de Rôtisseurs contests, besides the Michelin stars merited by 4 of the capital’s restaurants (Costes&Costes Downtown, Borkonyha, Onyx), are telling indicators. Hungary has put its name on the world map of gastronomy.
Alongside the achievements of Budapest, gastronomy evolved spectacularly in the countryside, which is demonstrated not only by the number of guests attending gastronomic festivals, but by those ‘culinary travellers’, also, who appreciate quality combined with local products -more and more typical in the provinces as well.
Winemaking is undergoing its renaissance, too: besides the well-known Aszú from Tokaj, delightful and lovely wines - including exquisite dry Furmints, ’Kadarka’s or ’Kékfrankos’s- are bottled by talented and creative winemakers.
Hungary, thanks to the metamorphosis from mass production to a so called „boutique” wine production representing outstanding quality, is gaining back its nearly forgotten fame and glory. The countless small cellars, run by the new generation of winegrowers use their charms to make beautiful wines coming from their vineyards (either as a result of traditional winemaking culture or mixed with modernity and sensible improvements). These wines represent a unique variety when it comes to those that originate for instance from Balaton, Eger, Szekszárd, Tokaj or Villány. Hungary indeed boasts an amazing spectrum of wine varieties, all exciting, authentic and mostly waiting to be rediscovered.
Last but not least some expressions a caller might find useful: „Jó étvágyat!” (Enjoy your meal) and „Egészségedre!” (Cheers) that a visitor will easily learn through tasting a 100% fruit spirit, named pálinka!