Monday, December 2, 2013

Food in Hungary

For a century or more, Hungarian food, has evolved from the influence of Middle Eastern influence and Western European influence. Recipes were adapted to suit local tastes, giving them a Hungarian uniqueness. They love meat and eat a lot of pork, chicken, and beef, in that order. You will also find some fish on the menu. Hungarian dishes are usually heavy, fatty, and loaded with Paprika.  However, the rich flavor and aroma may tempt you to forget your diet and enjoy all that Hungary has to offer.

Jókai bean soup with smoked pork knuckles
You will find that this is a very popular soup in Hungary and available almost everywhere soup is served. It is a hearty, winter soup, thick & spicy with full flavor. Perfect for chilly Hungarian days.

Cold cherry soup
Several versions of cold cherry soup originated in Poland & Hungary. It consists of sour cherries and a lot of sugar, combined with sour cream and heavy cream - sometimes thickened with flour.

Main dishes
Chicken Paprika (Paprikas csirke)
Paprikás csirke (pronounced “paprikash cheerke”) is a popular Hungarian dish. As you guessed, it is traditionally made with chicken and uses a large amount of paprika in the sauce. It is usually eaten with galuska (spaetzle), and a cucumber salad with sweet-and-sour dressing Sometimes you will find this dish with veal as well.

Stuffed Cabbage
Stuff cabbage is a traditional dish in Poland, Russia, and Hungary. However the Hungarian version is more aromatic because of the spices while Northern versions tend to be sweetened with brown sugar.

I recommend you try the Hungarian version, it is wonderful.

Goose liver
It probably will come as a surprise to learn that Hungary is the biggest exporter of goose & duck liver in the world, exporting over 1,920 tons in 2005.

So you would expect Hungary to have several wonderful goose liver dishes. Well, you wont be disappointed. When prepared as a hot dish, goose liver uses black pepper, paprika and salt. When served cold it is often  an ingredient in pates and terrines. Hungarian Foie gras also can be flavored with truffles, prunes, or liqueurs with sweet fruits like figs or grapes, caramelized onions, onion jam, or Tokaji wine jelly served as accompaniments.

If you are especially interested Hungarian goose liver, you may enjoy the Goose Liver Festival held every September in Budapest. This year, it was at Buda Castle and featured many goose liver delicacies.

Gundel Crepe (Gundel palacsinta)
I do not know about you but I could go for this desert in a second, it not just looks beautiful  but tastes amazing! It is a chocolate-covered crêpe with a filling of rum, raisins, and walnuts. It is often flambéed after it is brought to your table. The Gundel palacsinta (crêpe) originates from the Gundel restaurant in Budapest, Hungary.

This is an impressive dessert.

Somló sponge cake (Somlói galuska)
Somloi galuska literally means "dumplings from Somlo." As you can see from the photo at the right, it is made with three different types of sponge cake, in addition it has vanilla pastry cream, raisins, and walnuts. It is traditionally scooped onto a dessert plate in round, dumpling-like balls and garnished with chocolate rum sauce and whipped cream.

Cottage cheese dumplings Túró gombóc)
The Hungarian cottage cheese has a special slightly sour flavour and a grainy consistency.  Made with balls of cottage cheese balls that are coated with toasted breadcrumbs and then served with sour cream and powdered sugar.

If you are a fan of not to sweet desserts, cottage cheese dumplings are simply heaven.

So, have a great time eating your way through Hungary! The food is delicious and unique.

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