Stuffed Cabbage

Some ingredients are unique to Hungary while others can be found in other nations’ cuisine, too. Even though garlic belongs to the latter category, the dishes made with it are specific to Hungary.

Garlic is indigenous to South Asia, but thanks to its excellent flavouring quality, it is loved all over the world. In ancient times, they associated it with magical powers while in Egypt, it was seen as a holy plant. In the Middle Ages, when the plague was rampaging through Europe, doctors put its leaves in the beak of their plague masks so that it cleansed the air they breathed. Others wore it as a talisman on a necklace.

Favourite Hungarian ingredients – cottage cheese

In Hungary, garlic gained popularity around the 15th century. As it likes light and warmth, a good place to grow it is the Makó area. By now, it is an everyday ingredient in most households and is part of the base of many Hungarian dishes.

Roast á la Brasov / Brassói aprópecsenye

Photo: – ZsofiaHamoriPhotography

There are several origin stories when it comes to this delicious Hungarian meal. Some say it was created in 1948, on the train connecting Budapest and Brasov. Others say it existed before that as it was featured in a 19th-century cookbook. The most feasible explanation comes from The Gastronomy of the 20th century by Sándor Csáky, claiming that it is the creation of an unknown chef, who first made it with tenderloin, tomato, mushroom and egg barley. The “apró” (tiny) qualifier in Hungarian was added referring to the small pieces of potatoes and meat in which form this dish is often served.

If you love meat and potatoes with a nice garlicky taste, you have to try this dish. You can find the recipe HERE.

Újházi chicken soup

Photo: Wiki Commons By Wei-Te Wong

One of the most well-known Hungarian soups is named after Ede Újházi, an actor from the 19th century. Besides some iconic roles, he was also known as a lover of gastronomy with a sophisticated sense of taste. He was a frequent guest at the restaurant we call Gundel Restaurant today, where this soup is believed to have been created for the first time. As he often shared his ideas with the chefs or even instructed them, this soup ended up as a tribute to him, bearing his name. Even though the soup’s popularity really took off only a few decades later, after Újházi had already passed away, it is still a well-known and loved dish today – it is also an integral part of Hungarian weddings.

If you want to make it at home, try THIS recipe.

Stuffed cabbage

Stuffed cabbage
Photo: GLOBS Magazine

Stuffed cabbage is another staple dish in Hungary. It is often part of the Christmas menu or served at weddings, but you can eat it any time of the year, of course. It has Turkish origins and was already featured in the earliest Hungarian cookbooks. Today, many variations exist, and practically everybody makes them a tad differently. However, you cannot go wrong with some paprika, garlic, bacon and a dollop of sour cream on top.

If you want to make it at home, try THIS recipe.


food. gastronomy

Slambuc is a lesser-known Hungarian meal, mostly considered a favourite of herdsmen. Its main ingredients are potatoes, bacon and pasta (and garlic, of course). A key to making it is using a cauldron – otherwise, it cannot accurately be called slambuc. It is also useful if you have a deck of Hungarian cards on you. A deck of Hungarian cards consists of 32 cards. Herdsmen made the dish by putting down a card each time the dish started to “snuffle”. They had to keep on doing this until all the cards of the deck were revealed. A somewhat similar dish to slambuc is what they call “Grenadiermarsh” in Germany; however, the two are definitely not the same.

For the recipe to try at home, click HERE.

Leavened cucumber

leavened cucumber pickles

Last but not least, garlic can be used in other ways, too. For instance, it is an integral part of making leavened cucumber, one of the favourite sides in Hungary accompanying dishes from layered potatoes to chicken paprikash, just to give a few examples. Garlic forms part of the bedding and presumably adds to the health benefits associated with leavened cucumbers and fermented foods in general, such as alleviating anxiety and positively affecting metabolism as well as brain functions.

To make your own at home, use THIS recipe.

Featured image:

Source: Daily News Hungary

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