Along with the beautiful museums and great weather, another thing Kecskemét is famous for is its exquisite and diverse collection of wine along with the lesser-known Hankovsky variety of apricot. The fruit has been recognised as a symbolic gastronomic product of Hungary under the Slow Food Culture, Heritage, Identity and Food Project.
These mostly region-specific fruits are often referred to as the “Orchards of Hungary”. The Sand quality along with the amount of livestock breeding helps the trees perform exceptionally well in this area. Interestingly, the city is named after the word “goat” as live stock breeding has been a part of the culture of this city for almost a thousand years.
Despite all of that, animal breeding became a massive problem around the 18th century when the fields were left bare due to all the grazing animals did. It took 100 years, but Kecskemét built its economy back, mainly around wine.
The wine industry in Kecskemét was booming by the 20th century along with the nation’s favourite beverage Pálinka, was put on the map.
A household name and every grandma’s answer to all stomach related health problems, Pálinka has many admirers throughout the world. Edward, The Prince of Wales, during his visit to Hungary in 1935 even said that it tasted better than any whiskey or rum in the world.
These Apricots, commonly known as the Best Hungarian Apricots, are a big part of the gastronomical heritage of the region. They are also one of the most precious food varieties in the area. Other than Pálinka, the fruit is very versatile in its use and has been used by the shepherds of the Puszta and at the farming groups also known as tanyáks.
It is the pride and joy of the region and is gloriously displayed in the annual festival of Hírös Hét.
In hopes of promoting the new food culture around Europe Kecskemét has been selected to be a part of the new gastronomical concept along with Venice, Dubrovnik, Brno and Krakow to share their approach to food and build a stronger relationship with the food and the planet.
Written by Devika Khattar