Although Budapest is not the first country to crop into my mind when speaking about cuisine, during my stay I had the opportunity to indulge in some mouthwatering Hungarian specialities. Here are the 5 hungaricums which I tried and loved.
This is Hungary’s traditional soup made with beef, carrots, potatoes, the infamous hungarian paprika and some other herbs. At first I was not so sure about it but, being keen on trying traditional cuisine, I decided to take the risk…and I have to admit I did not regret it at all. The paprika really compliments the other ingredients to make it a hearty meal.
You can find it in many restaurants in Budapest, especially those serving Hungarian cuisine. I tried it at Hunagrikum Biztro where the waitress suggested that we add some spicy paprika pate to it to give it a spicy twist…yummy!
Hungarians also have some delicious street food. One of them is the lángos, a fried dough with sour cream and cheese which you can then top up with any other ingredients you like. I topped mine with olives, tomatoes and salami and my boyfriend added some rucola instead of olives. This sinful pleasure is surely not a low-calorie meal but totally worth it!
You can find the lángos in many stalls around the city as well as in nearby villages such as Szentendre. I bought the one I tried from the food stalls in the Central Market Hall. Don’t let the long queue scare you off as everyone seems to rush for the lángos stand.
This oh-so-heavenly-yummy-sweet is a popular Jewish pastry which is found in Budapest’s old Jewish District. It is a layered pastry with plum sauce, walnuts, apples and poppy seeds. You can find it in the confectionery shops in the old Jewish Quarter, such as Cafe Noe. This is a small cafeteria, more popular with the locals who describe this place as having one of the best Flodni in town. I only tried theirs so I can’t really compare. But, I can assure you it was divine!
This spice is synonymous with Hungary and is included in most of their typical dishes. You can find it as a pâté, in pieces or a powder, to be eaten on its own or to be added to dishes. You can find it in meat dishes, in the goulash soup, as mentioned above, as well as in cottage cheese, cream cheese and even cut in pieces served with breakfast. Wherever you look at a traditional restaurant or even in the shops you fill find paprika which comes either as sweet or spicy.
I tried it several times in different ways but my favourite dish with paprika was the beef with lecsó (vegetables with paprika) and potatoes.
|Some hungarian appetizers: (from left) bread with bacon topped with sour cream and paprika, spicy paprika pâté, and paprika pieces|
|Beef with Lecsó and potatoes|
This is the Hungarian fruit brandy which comes in several flavours such as cherry, plum, golden apples and honey. What I liked about this drink is that although it is a strong drink you can really taste the fruit from which it is made.
|Golden Apple and Cherry Pálinka|
You can either try it in one of the Pálinka festivals held in May and October, at a Palinka tasting session or else you can just order a shot of Pálinka from one of the many typical ruin pubs of the old Jewish District.
There are other several other specialities, of course, which unfortunately I did not have enough time to try. Have you tried other Hungarian dishes? You can also share your Hungarian culinary experience below.