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What to eat in Hungary – Traditional Dishes

Hungary: the magic of the food traditions meltin’pot

“Magyar” is the name of the cultural identity of the people from Hungary. It’s strange and unusal but the identity of the hungarians is a meltin’ pot of different tribes and identities. Infact 1300 years ago ten tribes made a coalition called “onogur” that means “ten people” (maybe this is the origin of the name Hungary). This alliance is the first seed of Hungary.

If I decided to linger on these facts it’s because if you don’t know the cultural origins of Hungary, you cannot understand one of the most important thing we like to discover when we travel: the food!

Populations from Turkey, from Siberia, from Austria, from Balcan, from Finland and Estonia met their cultural heredities in the Carpatic dock creating the Hungary. These different roots can be discovered by the tourist that walk in the streets of Budapest finding something to eat. For example the “paprika”, a spice made by dried chili, a symbol of the hungarian kitchen, it is inherited from the middle- East – mostly Indian area – and the use of the cow meat (typical of the centre- Europe nomads) create the most traditional dish from Hungary: Gulash, a stew full of flavours and spicy scents, made since a long time by the hungarian herdsmen. But if you keep on discovering the flavours of Hungary you will find the “Turkish Ragù”, a soup made with sheep, vegetables and peas. Then you could find a lot of influences of the Habsburgs: for example the use of cabbage and…. the horseradish, that in Hungary is protected by a DOP and it’s called Hajdusagi Torma!

Even the use of dried raisin with honey that you can find in some typical sweets like “arany galuska” highlights the turkish influences and underlines one time more that the coalition of the ten tribes passes also in the history of the food.

Maybe, in a poetical view, the capacity of the hungarian people to merge different cultures is still alive and go ahead for exemple with another special product “the Hungarian Salami”. In fact the pig breeders of this country when they wanted to create a good sausage in the 1950 decide to study the art and the traditions of the pork butcher of Italy trying to import their knowledge: that’s how the hungarian salami is born!

One more time we invite the tourist to lose all his ideas and preconceptions of a country, trying to let the travel change his mind: the world is full of incredible things to be discovered…food is one of those!

CONTRIBUTOR

Yuri Bianchi

I am Yuri, a 29 years old guy from italy. I have the strangest cv in the world. I am graduated in Law and I worked as a  journalist in a tv channel focused on food and gastronomy.
Some years ago I decide to follow my heart  and…my stomach!
Now I am trying my best to become a professional cook. Maybe one day I’ll be a chef, nobody knows!
The famous Rock band Ac/Dc says ” its a long way to the top if you  wanna rock’n’roll! “. I have my weapons: curiousity and creativity. I’ ve got to use them well.

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