When you mention Hungarian cuisine most everyone thinks of goulash (beef soup with vegetables). A few of the more adventurous or well-traveled will also have tried paprikas (beef or chicken stew) or palacsinta (pancakes or crepes) However, there is much more to Hungarian cuisine. Here are some suggestions out of the many yummy dishes to try.
Lángos is a fried yeast dough. The traditional Hungarian lángos is simple – it is rubbed with a garlic and sprinkled with salt or served with sour cream and shredded cheese on top (what we had). Alternatively, it can be sprinkled with powdered sugar. Modern versions use the lángos as a base for pretty much anything from mushrooms to the exotic such as “bolognese” (tomato sauce and ground meat) or nutella and bananas.
Pogácsa is the Hungarian version of biscuits or salty scones. The best ones are slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with many layers. There are many to choose from since they come in versions that differ in size (from a half inch to a couple of inches across and flavor). Traditional flavors are cheese (sajtos), pork crackling (tepertős/töpörtyűs) or túrós (cottage cheese). A great place to try them is Daubner Cukrászda (which also has great ice cream).
Cseresznyeleves or Meggyleves is a chilled cherry or sour cherry soup. Need I say more?Sometimes it includes other red fruit. The soup we had included cherries, raspberries, small red currents and possibly mulberry. By the way, sour cherries (meggy) figure prominently in Hungarian sweets. If you see a meggy pastry, try it!
Also, don’t forget to try Málnaszörp
Kovászos uborka is a pickle but a very very good pickle. Perhaps I am biased, but the pickles in Hungary are the best.
Főzelék is a Hungarian vegetable stew. It is thicker than soup and but eaten with a spoon. Ideally, you want to have a hunk of good Hungarian bread with it. There is no equivalent in American cuisine but perhaps creamed vegetable comes closest. The Hungarian version can be made with a variety of vegetables. Some of my favorites are carrot, pea, potato, cabbage or spinach. Each vegetable has different spices or herbes. For example, carrot főzelék has parsley and celery leaves. Cabbage főzelék has caraway seeds. It is a wonderful comfort food. It’s also a great choice for a meal for vegetarians! Here is bowl of pea főzelék that we had! Yum!
Okay, that’s it for now though it is hard to stop writing about these foods since there are so many more. The food in Hungary is amazing! Enjoy.