When you think you know all there is to know about Hungarian cuisine, there is always more. It is not just what we eat, but how we eat it.
Lunch is special
In Hungary, it would be hard to imagine a lunch which is not a hot meal. Hungarians, traditionally, eat something substantial for lunch. It is not a quick meal like in the United States; we would never have a sandwich or bagel for LUNCH. Lunch is what energises you for the rest of the day, and it needs to be hot and at least two courses: a soup and a main one. Lunch is generally more important than dinner, sandwiches with cold cuts, for example, are what most Hungarian opt for in the evening.
Soup is the only appetiser
Hungarian cuisine is not big on appetisers. If there is a precursor to a meal, it can only be a big hot bowl of soup. We love our soups. If the main course is something heavy, the soup is generally lighter like a vegetable soup or lentil soup. If the soup is hearty, like goulash or bean soup, it is usually considered the “main” course and is followed by a lighter pasta dish or pancakes. Click here for great traditional Hungarian soup recipes.
Meat is the star of the show
Vegetarians and vegans should not expect to find the most exciting culinary experience of their life in Hungary, as almost all famous Hungarian dishes have one thing in common: meat. Just think of the beloved goulash, chicken paprikash, or stuffed paprika. Most Hungarians eat meat every single day, and almost all three meals of the day include meat also. The most common types of meat you can find on a Hungarian table are pork, chicken, beef and veal. Unfortunately, Hungarians do not eat enough fish, but there are some types that are typically found in Hungarian restaurants; including the zander, carp and hake.
Paprika goes with everything
Paprika powder is basically red gold for our nation. Hungarian chefs realised hundreds of years ago that the flavour of fat, onion and paprika together create such a unique combination that these are worthy of being the basis for most if not all Hungarian dishes. The “holy trinity” of fat, onion and paprika is what dominates Hungarian cuisine.
We love our street food
Everyone knows the most famous Hungarian street food: lángos. Everybody who comes to this country wants to try it because it is a dish that locals actually love. Most memorable meals are those which people from that country do not even eat that much anymore, but lángos is impressive. It is cheap, fast, delicious, and merely a culinary masterpiece. Street food was present in Hungarians’ lives long before we knew it was a thing. We called it buffet. When a Hungarian hears the word buffet, more or less the same image appears in front of everyone; either a buffet car or a small window if it’s inside. The supply is always the same: low-quality sandwiches, hot dogs, lángos, and burgers. It’s cheap, fast, and does the job. Luckily, the business has improved a lot, and we have stylish food trucks now with a wide selection of foods made of high-quality ingredients.
Source: www.magyarorszagom.hu; Daily News Hungary