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A Taste of Hungary – Beyond Goulash

The first thing that comes to most people’s mind about Hungarian cuisine is goulash, a hearty soup made with paprika powder, onions, tomatoes, green pepper and usually with beef. This hearty soup became a mascot of Hungary along with the country’s red spice the paprika powder. The thick soup was the number one dish of herdsmen in Hungary who made it in a cast-iron kettle (bogracs) hung above open fire, out in the fields. That’s why the soup is called gulyás in Hungarian. During the years gulyas became goulash in English.

Hungary’s gastronomy has much more to offer than goulash. Rich soups like Jókai bean soup, Újházy Chicken broth, vegetable soups, mushroom soup and a variety of fruit soups are all part of the country’s cuisine.
Let me dispel a common misconception that every food in Hungary is soaked in paprika sauce and it is burning hot. We have a range of tasty dishes that are made without paprika and most housewives use sweet paprika brands for cooking.

Nevertheless, it’s right that Hungarian dishes are not for people on strict diet. In the authentic version of many recipes lard is a major ingredient. Nowadays, but housewifes and restaurant chefs prepare these dishes healthier by using modern cooking methods and substituting some ingredients for healthier ones, without compromising on the taste or the texture of the food.

Although meat dishes are predominant in our gastronomy, there are some very tasty vegetarian meals too, like lecso the Hungarian ratatouille. Though most Hungarians make it with smoked sausage or bacon, vegetartians can omit them and use only fresh tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Főzeléks, vegetables simmered in water then thickened with roux, also fit into vegetarians’ diets.

A variety of pasta dishes and dumplings, both savoury and sweet, add diversity to Hungary’s cuisine. Túrós csusza (egg squares with cottage cheese, bacon cracklings and sour cream) or plum dumplings (szilvásgombóc) are perfect main dishes after a substantial soup.

Let’s not forget about Hungarian desserts. Luscious cakes, pastries and pies tempts you to taste them at cake shops in Budapest.
The most well loved tortes and cakes are:
Dobos torte (chocolate cream between layers of sponge with crunchy caramel topping),
Eszterházy torte (walnut sponge cake with walnut cream filling and sweet icing on the top,
Rigó Jancsi (chocolate sponge cake with rich chocolate mousse filling),
Rákóczy túrós (cottage cheese cake).

Strudel is an all-time favourite sweet snack of locals too. It’s a flaky pastry filled with a various stuffings. sweet cottage cheese and raisins, sour cherry, apple. The stuffings are variable so you can have it with cottage cheese-sour cherry, apple-ground walnuts, sour-cherry-ground poppy seed fillings, the only limit is your imagination.

Should you feel like tasting authentic Hungarian dishes, Budapest has many excellent resturants serving local food. If you want to make some of them at home download A Taste of Hungary ebook with nearly 60 well-tried recipes and lots of colourful photos.

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Erzsebet lives in Budapest with her husband and son. She likes the Hungarian capital and Hungary’s cuisine very much. On her website she shares her insider knowledge about Budapest and Hungary. Learn more about the country’s cuisine and its well loved dishes at
budapest-tourist-guide.com/hungarian-dishes.html” target=”_blank budapest-tourist-guide.com/hungarian-dishes.html

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