There are many great Hungarikums that not only taste good but also have amazing health benefits. We chose three of these to present – easily accessible products you should have at home.
In English, this can go under many names, such as carbonated water, soda water, sparkling water, fizzy water, club soda, water with gas, seltzer or seltzer water. The natural acidic waters, the so-called “Wine waters”, were favoured, especially in Transylvania, but there were similar sources throughout Europe. Soda water was first patented in Dublin in 1809, so the origin of this drink is not Hungarian, but a Hungarian man, Ányos Jedlik, invented how to mass-produce it. In 1830, Jedlik’s procedure of how to produce soda water was published in Vienna, in the form of an article. This was translated from Latin to German. In Hungary, people extract soda water from the bottom of the siphon with the help of a pipe to leave more carbon dioxide in the drink. The same product can be found in other countries as well, for instance, in Romania. But this drink has health benefits, too. Studies have allegedly shown that carbonated water improved dyspepsia and constipation, and carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages induces ghrelin release and increased food consumption implicated in obesity.
Ground paprika from Szeged and Kalocsa
The iconic paprika is essential in Hungarian cooking. However, this hungarikum can be found in stores, too. One product, for instance, is called Erős Pista. This translates as Strong Pista and contains 87% of raw minced strong paprika. Haragos Pista, which translates as Angry Pista, is a version of the same product, just four times stronger. However, Édes Anna, or Sweet Ana, as we should call it in English, is a mild paprika seasoning. The variety of this product really shows the importance it has in Hungarian cuisine.
Another interesting fact about this Hungarian product is that it helps digestion. The Hungarian professor, Albert Szent-Györgyi, who also won a Nobel Prize, produced Vitamin C from fresh paprika in a laboratory in 1936.
This honey is made with acacia. Termeloimagyarmez.hu wrote that “it is characteristic of acacia honey that the amount of glucose (glucose) is significantly lower than that of fructose (fructose), which is why pure acacia honey almost never crystallizes (3 types of honey in the world retain their fluidity for a long time). Among other things, it is characteristic of the value of acacia honey that it contains 10 of the 11 sugars present in honey.”