Hungary is not only a popular tourist destination because of the sights of Budapest, its attractive and traditional Central European villages, and its stunning natural landscapes. It is also a popular destination for foodies from all over the world because of its cuisine.
Hungary’s cuisine, which is spicy, rich, and lavishly flavoured, is a beautiful and surprising discovery for many visitors to the nation. Traditional cuisines, which have been developed over thousands of years of Magyar history, continue to be an important component of the country’s rich and proud cultural legacy.
The traditional Hungarian meal goulash is one of the most well-known foods in the country’s culinary repertoire. Yet, there are still many misconceptions regarding the dish’s origins and how it came to be.
The meal’s name comes from the gulyás (shepherds), who prepared their hearty and filling food in a kettle over an open fire, hence the name.
Today, a goulash cooked in a kettle is considered to be the most authentic of all the varieties.
Almost every region has its version of goulash, but a basic version is a cross between a soup and a stew, made with beef (occasionally pork), carrots, potatoes, spices, and the traditional paprika, and is served hot.
Goulash has a rich history that dates back to the 9th century, but it was not until the 1800s that it was elevated to the status of national symbol and tool for preserving Hungarian identity.
An excellent company for this dish would be the Argentinian wine Catena Zapata Argentino Malbec 2019 which provides a rich, dark fruit flavour profile and is always best paired with hearty dishes such as steak or beef stews.
Sausages are one of the most delicious dishes to enjoy while visiting Hungary. To begin, let us look at one of them: kolbász. It is a sausage made up of two primary ingredients: on the one hand, Magyar-style blood sausage, and on the other, liver types of various sorts.
Seasonings such as salt, spices, peppers, and the essential marjoram are used to enhance the flavour. Guess what you will not be able to miss in this sausage! Yes, paprika is a favourite among the Magyars.
Those who are familiar with the history of this condiment believe that this country was responsible for making paprika the most popular condiment in the world after it was exported from Mexico in the 16th century.
You can enjoy this spicy dish with a glass of the French wine Bosquet des Papes Châteauneuf Du Pape Tradition 2016. It is an exquisite wine composed of Grenache, a little bit of Syrah, and Mourvedre. Its rich and intense flavour will balance out the spiciness of the Kolbász.
Almost certainly, you are aware of, or assume, that many of Hungary’s traditional meals are the result of culinary influences from Italy and Greece. Yes, we are talking about túrós csusza, which is a noodle dish in the Hungarian manner, made with quark or cottage cheese.
Because of the small noodles’ size, it is preferable if they are produced at home or by the host restaurant. Actual Hungarian noodles are sliced by hand into uneven pieces, which gives this meal a unique appearance and flavour.
You should serve it with sour cream and with a glass of the Italian Berlucchi Cuvee Imperiale Brut, which goes very well with creamy cheeses!
Because Hungary is a landlocked country, there are plenty of fish dishes to choose from there.
Halászlé is one of the most well-known and widely consumed dishes in Hungarian cuisine today.
Halászlé is a traditional fish soup that river fishermen initially made. It was prepared in a big cauldron on the banks of the famed Danube or Tisza rivers in the great outdoors. Try to figure out what the other primary element is – the spice is paprika and not just any paprika, but ground Hungarian paprika.
Carp and beam are among the varieties of fish you’ll find, and catfish have also been increasingly popular in recent years. Although the substance of the soup is from the head of the fish, it is served with a slice from the central part of the fish.
It will go well with a New Zealand wine such as Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2021, which is widely regarded as the ideal partner to sushi, fish, and seafood.
Last but not least, how about some Austro-Hungarian cuisine? Yes! Strudel is a pastry linked with the cuisines of Hungary and Austria and those of the Czech Republic, Romania, and Italy. On the other hand, Hungarian strudel is distinguished by its distinct appearance and flavour.
Using a tablecloth, the soft dough is rolled out on a tablecloth-covered surface, filled, and rolled again with the help of the tablecloth: the process is an art that takes a lot of practice. Strudel is traditionally served on significant occasions in Hungary, such as weddings or birthdays.
Apple strudel and quark strudel are the two most well-known strudel flavours globally. Cottage cheese, dill, pumpkin, and poppy seed are the most popular flavours in Hungary, followed by apricot and raspberry. To have a better taste, you can accompany it with a Canadian sweet dessert wine Pillitteri Estates Vidal Icewine 2017.