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A Q&A with Photographer Brian H Neely on His Wine Filled Year
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 02 April, 2015 in 100 Essentials ,Explore ,People ,

Working in the Hungarian vineyards
Thanks to our common love of wine, we have gotten to know Brian H Neely, an American photographer, well over the past few years that he has been living in Budapest. For much of this time he has been working on a project called A Wine Filled Year. The seed of his project was born, naturally, over a glass of wine … or perhaps actually, over many glasses of wine! A Wine Filled Year has now been completed, and the result is a gorgeous book of photographs documenting several Hungarian wineries and vineyards over the course of a year. You can check out Brian’s blog for more information about the project, or you can order the book directly here. To meet Brian (and pick up a signed copy of the book!) come to his launch party on April 9th.

We spoke to Brian about his project, photography, and his favorite Hungarian wines.  Read More

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Food & Wine Event Guide: April
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 30 March, 2015 in Events ,

Our month-by-month guide to the best food and wine events in Budapest

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The Etyeki Picnic

Talk and Wine Tasting with Winemaker Tamás Dusóckzy from Tokaj
Thursday April 2 (7pm)

Dusóckzy is a fascinating man who grew up in Mád, Tokaj, but left the country as a teenager, became a physicist, and lived in Switzerland and the US. After retiring in the early 1990s, Dusóckzy moved back to Hungary with the intention of bringing the family’s old wine estate in Tokaj back to life. He partnered with Mihály Habsburg to start a five-hectare vineyard, and he is a founding member of the Confrerie de Tokaj, the association of Tokaj wine knights. His latest initiative is building a memorial at the synagogue in Mád to honor the Jewish winemakers and merchants who were killed in the Holocaust, and making them posthumous members of the Confrerie de Tokaj. Dusóckzy is not only a winemaker and a witness to Hungary’s tragic 20th-century history, but he is a fascinating storyteller. During the discussion he will share five of his traditional-style Tokaji wines with us, as he shares his memories. The evening will include a tasting of five wines from Dusóckzy’s winery and generous platters of Hungarian-style Tapas.

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Hot Wheels – Food trucks in Budapest worth chasing down
Posted by Anna J. Kutor on 20 March, 2015 in Eat ,Explore ,

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Hungary’s street food scene has generally traditionally been limited to the lángos, palacsinta, and kürtöskalács variety. But the international trend for pop-up food experiences from mobile devices has sped its way into Budapest. Still in their first years of operation, trucks selling gourmet burgers or Mexican comfort food are now feeding office workers and the late-night party crowd throughout the city. As these mobile food vendors set off on a roll, offering a variety of wallet-friendly eats and drinks—from gourmet burgers to innovative cheese and pasta dishes—we take a look at some of the city’s best. Read More

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Madártej (“Bird’s Milk”)
Posted by Anna J. Kutor on 18 March, 2015 in Cook ,

Madartej

Growing up, Sunday lunches where always the time for special desserts in my family. My mother always spent extra time making a decorative cake, trying out a new cookie recipe, or satisfying the family’s recurring request for madártej, our favorite. It may have been a frugal indulgence, but a labor-intensive one at that, as the creamy custard and light-as-air egg-white dumplings would have to be prepared a day in advance. The giant bowl of deliciousness was instantly inhaled by all.

A direct descendant of the French floating island, madártej (literally “bird’s milk”) is a deceptively simple looking dessert of fluffy meringue floating on a sea of vanilla custard that has become a staple of the Hungarian culinary lexicon.

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Q&A with Gabó Bartha, One of Our Kitchen Heroes
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 11 March, 2015 in Cook ,Explore ,

http://www.winelover.co/events/event/winelover-week-in-hungary-and-austria-september-2014/

The first time we met Gabó Bartha and Ákos Szokolai from the Budaházy Winery in Mád it was over a fabulous meal that she had prepared for us in Mád, paired with Ákos’ wines, naturally. Before meeting in person we had been corresponding by email about shared interests in food, cooking, and Tokaj for a few months. Since then we have been lucky enough to enjoy their thoughtful approach to cooking (enhanced by their lovely wines) many times, and the winery is always a favorite stop for our wine-touring guests.

It was fitting that Gabó was one of the very first people to help us break in the new kitchen at The Tasting Table in September when we hosted a #winelover BYOB dinner there, and now she is back with Ákos. Together they are busy shopping at the market, unpacking their stash of ingredients that they carted from Mád, and preparing for the dinner that they are hosting tomorrow at The Tasting Table.

We took this chance to ask Gabó a few questions about her distinctive cooking style, which has incorporated many influences starting from her childhood in Transylvania, up until the past nearly four years that she has spend living in the tiny village of Mád, in the Tokaj wine region. Read More

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Discovering Tokaj’s Sweet Secrets: At Home in Erdőbénye
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 04 March, 2015 in 100 Essentials ,Drink ,Explore ,

Vineyard view from Mád

Winemakers in Tokaj, the famed wine region in northeastern Hungary, are singularly obsessed with a fungus. No ordinary fungus, it is botrytis (or “noble rot”) which they are mad about. It is the ingredient which magically transforms their precious ripe grapes into the shriveled, small, raisin-like berries which make Tokaji aszú one of the world’s greatest sweet wines. The wine is the pride of Hungary, yet unfathomably, it is still practically a secret among the majority of the world’s wine drinkers. Winemakers in Tokaj rely on botrytis, which only occurs when weather conditions are perfect, to concentrate sugars and flavors in the shrivelly grapes. This results in rich, golden-colored wine that can taste of orange marmalade, hazelnut, bread, dill, citrus, apricot, honey, or a host of other flavors. These dried grapes are the backbone of Tokaji aszú and are not only hand-harvested, but are selected one by one.

It’s an exceedingly special wine, with a long-lingering finish and the potential to age for decades, even centuries.

Tokaji aszú berries

Tokaji aszú is a complex, traditional wine, which has been admired by royalty and popes, and is even praised in the Hungarian national anthem. As an expat who has been living in Budapest—200 kilometers fromTokaj in the southern foothills of the Carpathian Mountains—for around a dozen years, I slowly, but seriously, became so smitten with it that my husband, Gábor, and I fantasized about having a little piece of this dreamy place for ourselves. Read More

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Old-School Hungarian Sweets
Posted by Anna J. Kutor on 02 March, 2015 in Eat ,

Retro Hungarian Candy1_AJK
Remember when an after-lunch snack meant having to choose between roasted peanuts covered in colorful lumpy sugar (aka Dunakavics), chocolate-mousse filled ice-cream cones (téli fagyi), or a cocoa-filled wafer bar (Balaton)? If so, there’s a good chance that you are over 40 and lived your youthful years under the Communist regime in Hungary. Good news: in their original or modernized packaging they are all still widely available (although some you may never want to taste them again). From creamy caramel fudge (tejkaramella) to “potato sugar” (krumplicukor), here are some retro candies that are sure to take any Hungarian for a trip down memory lane.

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Food & Wine Event Guide: March
Posted by Anna J. Kutor on 28 February, 2015 in Explore ,

Our month-by-month guide to the best food and wine events in Budapest

VinCe Budapest Masterclass

A Masterclass at VinCe Budapest

Don’t forget, we organize our own food and wine events @The Tasting Table. Check our calendar for what we have in the works!


As the calendar inches towards Spring, Budapest sees a variety of food & wine events to bring a spring back in your step.

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Drinking-In The Ruins: A Guide to Budapest’s Ruin Pubs
Posted by Anna J. Kutor on 16 February, 2015 in 100 Essentials ,Drink ,Explore ,

Szimpla Kert Budapest

The pre-war edifice may be crumbling—with nearly all the battered, raw-brick surfaces covered in graffiti. And the courtyard may be overrun with weeds, but that hasn’t stopped the pleasure-seekers from packing in the place at all hours of the night. What may look like a squatters block party at first glance is just a regular weekend night at a romkert (ruin bar) in downtown Budapest. Deep inside the history-filled rubble of District VII, the Jewish Quarter, a coterie of wildly disheveled ruin bars have turned abandoned buildings, old cellars, and derelict public properties into bastions of Bohemian cool. Ruin bars have become one of the great Budapest attractions—intriguing places with unexpected layers of detail which you could easily spend a few hours taking in.

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The Wine-Lover’s Guide to The Fröccs
Posted by Anna J. Kutor on 23 June, 2015 in 100 Essentials ,Drink ,Explore ,

When the weather gets hot in Hungary—and stays hot for months—there’s nothing like a cool, fizzy fröccs. Fröccs (which translates as “spritzer”) is a mixture of soda water and wine, which refreshes (and gives a mild, long-lasting buzz). It’s the ultimate summer go-to drink in Hungary, and there are plenty of places in Budapest to explore the drink in its many variations. Wine puritans may scoff at the idea of diluting wine, but in Hungary and the rest of Central and Eastern Europe fröccs drinking is the rigeuer de jour once the sweaty season arrives. For all its variations and new-wave popularity, this fizzy refreshment is imbibed by men and women of all ages and social classes. In short, fröccs is Hungary’s best prescription to beat the heat.

Fröccs varieties

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