When you think of ice cream, Hungary does not come to mind, but it should! When I took fille to Hungary for the first time this spring, I told her of the wonderful ice cream I would eat on my childhood visits to Hungary. Because of my Hungarian background, I would often travel to visit family and friends starting at young (ice-cream eating) age.
The flavors of Hungarian ice cream are traditionally fresh and bright and not overly sweet. There are also flavors that you won’t see elsewhere. An amazing flavor I had on this trip was Gestenye Mascarpone (Chestnut mascarpone). Of course, you should always try the mogyoró (hazelnut) not to be confused with földimogyoró (peanut) and the fruit flavors – particularly raspberry, strawberry or peach. Good Hungarian ice cream lets the flavor shine through.
Ice cream is called fagylalt or fagyi (for short) in Hungarian. One scoop is called a gombóc.
There used to be ice cream places on every street but not any more. However, most cafes or pastry shops (cukrászda) will serve ice cream. Here are a couple of ice cream shops that we happen to like, but just keep your eyes open and you’ll find one near you.
Daubner Cukrászda – This is a famous bakery and pastry shop on the Buda side. In addition to really good ice cream they also have amazing cakes, pastries and pogácsa.
Fragola – Fragola is a chain with the feel of a neighborhood ice cream shop. We went to a location on Szépvölgyi út. in a residential neighborhood on the Buda side. This location had a huge selection of interesting and unusual flavors. Some of the more interesting flavors were the aforementioned Chestnut mascarpone, Lychee with rose essence and a few alcoholic flavors such as Guiness and one with Plum brandy – known as szilvapálinka. Alcoholic flavors are sold only to those over 18. There are a few shops of this chain also in the downtown Pest area.
Enjoy! Definitely have some chestnut or hazelnut ice cream. Also try the fruit flavors. You won’t regret it!