Our ‘5 Dishes To Try’ series aims to help you uncover some local culinary delights that you may otherwise have missed when visiting a foreign city. Food is a big part of any European city break and, whilst we all have our own tastes, trying some of the national dishes is a great way of understanding the culture and people of your destination. So, in a bid to make your stomach groan, here are five tasty morsels that will ensure you don’t go hungry in Hungary.
Yes, we couldn’t have a list of fantastic Hungarian food without mentioning this staple. Goulash (you’ll see it written as gulyás) typifies the cuisine in this part of the world, displaying its humble roots and its comforting nature. It was originally cooked by cow herders in a kettle over an open fire and this remains the authentic way to prepare this national dish. Every region of Hungary has its own version but the basics are always the same. Beef, carrots, potatoes and lashings of paprika are boiled to form a delicious and hearty stew. A similar dish, called fisherman’s stew, uses carp or pike to create a fishier option.
Paprikás Csirke - Chicken Paprikash
Born out of the Hungarian love of paprika, this dish is almost as well-known as goulash. Another example of hearty home cooking, it consists of chicken on the bone (or sometimes strips of chicken) cooked in a sauce of onions, butter, stock and, of course, paprika. A dollop of sour cream is then added and it’s usually served with potato dumplings or noodles.
Whilst the dishes above are perfect for a sit-down meal, this tasty treat is a great snack for when you are on the go or you just want a quick lunch. Sold on the streets of most major cities, Lángos are made from fried dough which is then adorned with savoury toppings, though sweet ones are also available in some places. The traditional topping is garlic sauce and cheese, but sour cream and even chopped up sausage are also popular. Some believe the origin of this street food to be Ancient Rome, whilst the name is derived from the Hungarian word for flame.
Due to its inability to be translated into English, Főzelék is rather hard to describe. However, it is a great option if you’re looking for something a bit healthier than the other dishes on this list. Halfway between soup and stew, this hearty piece of vegetarian fare is what a generation of Hungarian children was brought up on. There are many different varieties, including those made with peas, tomato and cabbage, spinach, and potato. As you walk around somewhere like Budapest, you will find Főzelék bars that specialise in this popular food.
Anyone with a sweet tooth will be pleased to know that Hungarians love their pastries and cakes. You can’t go very far without coming across a café or bakery where locals love to sit, drink coffee, eat sweet treats and catch up with friends. Flódni has Jewish origins and is the perfect compromise if you cannot decide which pudding you want – as it combines many of them in one delicious cake. There are four different layers, celebrating four of Hungary’s favourite fillings. Typically these are poppy seeds, walnuts, jam and apple and they come together to create a decadent dessert that you can’t help but love.
If you would like to try any of these tasty treats, the best place to do so is in the country which does them best – Hungary. We have Budapest city breaks available all year round, as well as trips to cities like Pécs and Győr. Call us on 0800 988 3369 and we will tailor-make a holiday just for you..\