Although I’ve had a little break from writing during the last few weeks, one thing that definitely hasn’t changed since I last wrote is my love of international cuisine. I think it’s perfectly okay to travel to a country you’ve never been before purely to sample the cuisine, and that’s exactly what I’m choosing to write about today. I never really thought about Hungary as a city break destination before, but for some reason, this small and underrated Eastern European country has suddenly popped into my mind. After finding out that many of the Czech Republic’s dishes are similar to those in Hungary, I decided to do a little research and find out more about Hungarian cuisine. So, if you’re planning on visiting Budapest at some point in the New Year, or if you’d just like to learn about this country’s food, here are some of the most loved dishes, all of which are native to Hungary.
What to Eat in Hungary
Paprikás Csirke (Paprika Chicken)
Paprikás Csirke (pronounced ‘paprikash cheerke’) can be translated to Paprika Chicken, and is a classic and delicious Hungarian dish. Hungary’s cuisine is famous for its love of paprika, which is definitely what inspires me to start cooking it myself! Paprika Chicken is typically served with dumplings or pasta and sour cream, and is essentially chicken in a creamy, paprika sauce. The sauce is quite similar to stroganoff, which is one of my most-loved dishes.
Gulyás, or ‘goulash’, is an extremely popular soup that originates from Hungary. It’s a hearty soup or stew containing meat and vegetables, and it usually includes chunks of beef, potatoes, peppers, and of course, plenty of paprika. This delicious dish actually dates all the way back to the 9th Century, when it was eaten by Hungarian shepherds. Goulash remains one of the country’s most loved and well known dishes, with many people from all over the world cooking it often. Perhaps I’ll soon be one of them…
Toltott Káposzta (Stuffed Cabbage)
This traditional Hungarian comfort food, Toltott Káposzta, essentially means ‘stuffed cabbage’. The cabbage itself is often pickled, and is stuffed with rice and minced meat. They are then cooked and smothered in sour cream, making it a tangy yet delicious treat. Although this dish is cooked in many countries, each one does it a little differently. In Hungary, it’s typically eaten during the Christmas and New Year periods.
Kifli (Crescent Bread)
Although different forms of ‘kifli’ are eaten across Europe, this traditional yeast roll originates from Hungary, and can be translated to ‘crescent bread’, because of its unique shape. It is made by baking yeast dough, which is then given an egg wash when it comes out of the oven. Kifli is usually made into a sandwich, or served with jam and/or honey for breakfast. I know what I’ll be eating for breakfast if I ever visit Hungary…
Gesztenyepuré (Chestnut Puree)
Well, I couldn’t write an article about Hungarian cuisine without mentioning one of the country’s delicious-looking desserts. This is basically ‘chestnut purée’, and contains chestnuts, sugar and rum. It’s usually served with whipped cream, and it looks absolutely heavenly. It’s a very popular wintertime dessert in Hungary, and I’ll definitely be trying it!