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Category Archives: "Lake Balaton"
2016—Our Year in Wine Memories
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 22 December, 2016 in Drink ,Explore ,

As we were recounting our best food memories of 2016, naturally many of them involved wine. At The Tasting Table and through our tours (and tour research) we taste a lot of wine, regularly meet winemakers, and visit the beautiful places where these wines come from. We are in love with the astonishing range of wine in Hungary, and take whatever chance we get to delve deeper into it, taste something new, and visit a new cellar. We asked some of our tour guides to recount their year in wine and share the best things they’ve drunk in 2016. While we all travel frequently outside of Hungary (often to other wine regions of the world), this year it so happened that all of our best wine memories took place in Hungary, with the exception of one from Austria from our Vienna-based wine guide (we’ve shared the addresses here so you can try them for yourselves). With nearly two dozen wine regions in this small country, and so many top-quality wines to discover, it is no wonder that we are so enamored with our own wine. We also were not surprised that there was one particular bottle of wine (which several of us tasted together) that was named as the highlight of the year by several of us. We hope that you have also experienced some great wine and wine travel in 2016.

Here are some of the best wine experiences that Taste Hungary guides have had in 2016. We’re already looking forward to what will come in 2017!

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The Lost World of The Jewish Wine Trade in Hungary (and The Old Habsburg Empire), Part II.
Posted by Gábor Bánfalvi on 12 October, 2015 in Drink ,Explore ,People ,

Read Part I of this series here

After researching Central European wine history—particularly how Jews were involved for centuries in the wine trade and in winemaking—over the past few years, I have found this untold story: the fascinating back story preceding the takeover of the state-owned coops in Hungary, which lasted more than forty years (and devastated Hungarian wine). The family names and trading houses that I have been reading about were big players in the European wine trade in their day, only to have their stories forgotten. Here are a few brief stories of some of the families …


Part II.

A Few Abaúszántó Families
The Teitelbaum family, which lived in the Tokaj region for many generations, is another great example of how Jewish families were able to set up big and successful businesses which lasted for generations. Their winery was founded in 1783 in Abaújszántó. Until the beginning of World War One they saved a few bottles from every vintage since the winery was founded, making it the biggest (and oldest) collection of wine in the region. Also located in Abaúszántó was the Flegmann family. As you can see on the label here, they had an importer, the Krauss Brothers, in New York. These families knew what they were doing: selling beautiful wines in the world’s most important wine markets, with different labels depending on where the bottle was going to be sold.

Kassa 1 1938

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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


Balaton Izlelő Highlights Balaton’s Best Products
Posted by Anna J. Kutor on 03 January, 2014 in 100 Essentials ,Shop ,

Balaton Izlelő

Farkas Zoltán is a serious fan and lover all good things Hungarian, which is why he is standing behind the counter at Balaton Izlelő (Taste of Balaton), a specialty foods store and bistro stocking a dizzying variety of gourmet treats produced around Hungary’s iconic lake region. Neatly prepared on the counter to the delight of eager customers, the sampling Farkas offers is as colorful as it is mouth-watering: elderflower and quince syrups, basil and pesto-infused cheeses, and chocolate and cinnamon covered pumpkin seeds were being offered on a recent day.

“This is what I like to call the Hungarian ying and yang” says Farkas, before dipping the sampling spoon in the arugula- pumpkinseed paste and handing it to one excited guest. Anecdotes and a deep knowledge of ingredients and producers pepper the conversation as the sprightly salesmen continues the taste test. “The arugula is a documented female aphrodisiac while the pumpkinseed paste is a gentleman’s best friend as it’s really beneficial for prostate health.”

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Taste Hungary’s 100 Essentials List
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 01 January, 2015 in 100 Essentials ,

Essential Food, Wine, and Dining Experiences 

When in Hungary, be prepared to eat and drink … and then do it some more. To fully experience Hungary there are some food, drinks, and experiences that cannot be missed. We have compiled what we think are the most essential (and tastiest) ones. We could go on…but this is enough to get started! We have stories to match some of these “essentials” (which you can get to by clicking on links in the list below the photos), and in the coming months we will add stories for each one of them. You can download the entire list here (pdf). This list is in no particular order, and will update it from time to time.

1. Lángos | 2. Unicum | 3. Gulyás (Goulash) | 4. Neighborhood Markets | 5.  Pezsgő (Sparkling Wine) | 6. Mangalica (Mangalitsa) | 7.  Nagy Vásárcsarnok (Central Market Hall) | 8.  Római Part (Romai Strand) | 9. Picnics | 10. Coffee: Historic Coffeehouses, Retro Eszpresszos, and 3rd Wave Coffee | 11. Rétes (Strudel) | 12. Nose To Tail Eating | 13. Fröccs (Spritzer) | 14. Zsíros kenyér (“Fatty” Bread) | 15. Szalonnasütés (Bacon Roasting) | 16. Szódásüveg (Soda Syphons) | 17. Michelin-Starred Restaurants | 18. Romkocsma (Ruin Bars) | 19. Dobos Torta | 20. Pálinka | 21. Túró Rudi | 22. Jewish Cuisine | 23. Velőscsont (Bone Marrow) | 24. Tokaj | 25. Indigenous Grape Varietals | 26. Liba/Kacsa Máj (Foie Gras) | 27. Kacsa (Duck) and Goose (Liba) | 28. Szilvás Gombóc (Plum Dumplings) 29. Szörp (Fruit Syrup) | 30. Taste Hungary Tours |31. Étkezde (Lunch Rooms) | 32. Cukrászdas (Patisseries) | 33.  Fagylalt (Ice Cream) | 34. Mák (Poppy Seeds) | 35. Dió (Walnuts) | 36. Húsleves (“Meat Soup”) |  37. Hideg Gyümölcs Leves (Cold Fruit Soup) | 38. Töltött Paprika & Töltött Káposzta (Stuffed Peppers & Stuffed Cabbage) | 39. Palacsinta  (Pancakes) | 40. Furmint | 41. Holiday Traditions | 42. Paprika and Peppers | 43. Disznótor (Pig Slaughter) | 44. Drinking From Unmarked Plastic Bottles | 45. Házi Barack & Szilva Lekvár (Homemade Apricot and Plum Jam) | 46. Hungarian Wine Country | 47. Artisan Cheese | 48. George Láng’s The Cuisine of Hungary | 49. Lake Balaton: Corn on the Cob, Lángos, and Artisan Products | 50. Craft Cocktails | 51. Bogrács (Cauldron) | 52. Savanyúság (Pickles) | 53. Craft Beer | 54. Tökmag (Pumpkin Seeds) | 55. Fresh-Picked Fruit | 56. Meggy (Sour Cherries) | 57. Gomba (Mushrooms) | 58. Halászlé (Fisherman’s Soup) | 59. Házi Fánk (Homemade Donuts) | 60. Krémes | 61. Hidegtál (Cold Plate) | 62. Yeast-Raised Desserts | 63. Flódni | 64. Fried Food (with Homemade Tartar Sauce) | 65. The Tasting Table | 66. Gyula Krúdy’s Novels | 67. Etyek | 68. Budapest’s Natural Springs | 69. Bor Mámor Bénye | 70. Budapest Wine Festival | 71. Sólet (Cholent) | 72. Lecsó | 73. Maximilian | 74. Rozé (Rosé) | 75. Tokaji Esszencia | 76. Rákóczi Túrós | 77. Kürtöskalács (Chimney Cake) | 78. Leves (Soup) | 79. Seasonal Eating | 80. Pogácsa | 81. Red Wine from Southern Hungary | 82. Sörözős and Borozós | 83. Hungarian Breakfast | 84. Kovászos Uborka (Fermented Cucumbers) | 85. Tészta (Pasta) | 86. Paprikás Csirke (Chicken Paprikás) | 87. Lunch at a Butcher | 88. Pork: Sausage, Bacon, and More | 89. Főzelék | 90. Zsír (Fat) | 91. A Spájz (The Pantry) | 92. Home-cooking | 93. Túró (Curd Cheese) | 94. Poncichter Ragu (Soproni Bean Stew) | 95. Pörkölt (Stew) | 96. Bodzalé (Elderflower Juice) | 97. Wine from Somló | 98. Téliszalámi (Winter Salami) | 99. Gesztenyepüré (Chestnut Puree) | 100. Sunday Lunch


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