When I ask people: “What do you expect from the Hungarian kitchen?” generally they awnser: “A lot of paprika”. They are right of course, but there is so much more to it. Spicy, healthy, greasy, sweet, salty,…there’s something for everyone. In this post I would like to introduce you to some typical dishes that will steal your heart.
Something for the sweet tooth. It is made from a sweet, yeast dough wrapped around a spit and rolled in sugar. The sugar will caramelise and form a crusty cover. Afterwards, the whole roll is dipped in something of your own choosing, like vanilla, walnut, cinnamon,… You can find this typical street food everywhere. Most of the time it’s fresh made. It’s my all time favourite!
This is more of a traditional dish.Originally, it came from ‘The Great Plain’ or Hortobagy. It’s shepperds’ food, so expect it to be a really heavy meal. It is a stew made of lebbencs, a kind of pasta, a small amount of fat, water and salt. Hungarians will also add a lot of spicy paprika, potatoes and salami. My host family and I used to cook this in the garden in a big cauldron. While cooking, we could talk, laugh and drink pálinka (hungarian spirit). The atmosphere was amazing.
‘Sour cherry soup’ is a typical Hungarian thing. Hungarians eat soup at least once a day. Most of them are the more commonly known like paprika soup (paprikaleves), chicken soup (csirkeleves) or fish soup (halleves). The extaordinary thing about this soup, it’s served cold (most of the time) and sweet. It is really easy to make. Just mix up some sour cherries, flour, whipped cream, sugar, cinnamon and clove. Jó étvágyat!
(For the full recipes from the last two, I only found Hungarian versions, so if you are interested in them, comment and I’ll try to translate. Of course if you find an English version, don’t hesitate to share below)
No meal without Pálinka is complete. This amazingly strong drink is the pride of the country. Every day Hungarians find a reason to drink a shot and to be honest, I love it! It is so important, they even have a Pálinkafesztivál. It’s made of different types of fruit, but the most common is plum (szilva) or apple (alma). I have to admit, the first time I tried this, I spit it out. (to everyone’s amusement) So for the brave ones…Good luck and egészségedre!