Taste Hungary Blog

The Taste Hungary Blog is authored by a group of expat and local writers, intent on making sense of Hungary’s traditional foodways, its emerging wine industry, and Budapest’s food scene. We focus on telling the stories of the deliciously complex foods and wines of Hungary, the people and places that fascinate us, and all of the cultural details which make Hungary such a memorable place to visit (or live).


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Kadarka – Hungary’s Answer to Pinot Noir?

Vibrant and elegant or rustic and insipid? Little-known Kadarka certainly divides opinions when tasted for the first time, with those who love it praising its crunchy, bright red fruit and refreshing ...

Unicum: Hungarian History in a Glass

Unicum is a national institution in Hungary, and has a long history that in some ways mirrors the history of modern Hungary itself.

The Mátra Wine Region: These Hills Are Alive With Volcanic Vineyards, Boutique Cellars, and History

Hungary’s second largest winemaking region is blessed with an ancient winemaking heritage, volcanic soil, successful large wineries, and now a band of boutique wineries hoping to bring the region into...

Flódni: The Four Act Pastry

Flódni is a traditional Hungarian Jewish confection. With fillings of poppy, walnut, apple, and plum jam, separated by five layers of sweet pastry, its flavors of tart, bitter, and sweet meld together...

Olaszrizling—a Riesling in name only

Olaszrizling, Hungary’s most widely planted white grape variety, is an archetypical Central European variety which is capable of for more than it's usually given credit for.

How To Buy Homemade Pálinka (and Why You Should)

We’re not saying it’s a good idea to buy under-the-counter pálinka, but if that’s what you want, you should know how to go about getting it.

Bookish in Buda: Literary Cafés of Budapest

With cafés like Centrál and New York giving shelter and comfort to writers of the famous Nyugat movement of Hungarian writing, you can’t talk about a classic Hungarian café without mentioning the writ...

Land of Fire and Salt: Hungary’s Volcanic Wine Regions

Imagine a landscape with numerous giant volcanoes spewing out lava and ash and a receding, bubbling inland sea. This was Hungary ten or fifteen million years ago.

Elegy to Zsiros Kenyér: A Good-bye to Budapest’s Classic Pub Grub

In Budapest, some dishes go out of style, only to be re-introduced years later as more expensive ‘retro’ fare. It also happens that some dishes disappear not to be seen again.

Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage: The Wedding Gift You Didn’t Know You Wanted

More than fortification for the coming party, the midnight cabbage represents a kind refusal to give in.

Sausauge at Budapest's Central Market 1

Chomping at the Bit: a Hungarian Horse Sausage Primer

Though Hungarians’ fondness for horse meat is far from universal among the population, a demand for it persists and horse sausage is still commonly found at market halls around Budapest.

Dog Tongues and Ink: Historic Literary Coffeehouses in Budapest

If nostalgia had a taste, it would be that of a bitter, robust sip of coffee served at Centrál Café, or one of the other coffee houses in Budapest.

Lecso ingredients

Lecsó as a Verb

Lecsó as a noun is known in flippant company as the Hungarian ratatouille, the dish that's not really a stew, not a soup, not exactly a side dish, but somehow takes characteristics of all these.

Szalonna: Call It Delicious, Just Don’t Call It Bacon

Every now and again a word gets mistranslated, and that mistranslation is picked up on and replicated until it’s been hopelessly absorbed into common usage.

Discovering Tokaj’s Sweet Secrets: At Home in Erdőbénye

Winemakers in Tokaj are singularly obsessed with a fungus called botrytis. And I had become fascinated by these winemakers who go to such lengths and expense to make this traditional wine.

Eating gulyas in Hungary_Taste Hungary

Gulyás: The Ultimate Hungarian Soup (Recipe)

Gulyás is the one Hungarian dish that most people think they know. But their imagination of gulyás rarely resembled the real Hungarian thing.

That’ll Do Pig: The Marvelous Rise of Mangalica

If you haven’t heard of Mangalica, don’t feel left out. The fact that there is any of it at all is a small miracle.

The Ever-Popular Old School Fröccs

When the weather gets hot in Hungary, fröccs season is on. A refreshing mixture of soda water and wine, it's the ultimate summer go-to drink. 

Furmint Forever

There’s no other grape that can make such complex sweet wines, consistently delicious easy-drinking dry wines, and full-bodied single vineyard terroir-driven wines.

Cherries_Hungary

Meggyes Leppény
 (Sour Cherry Cake) Recipe

My first ever trip to Hungary coincided with cherry season. Ever since, when I think cherries, I crave this cherry cake that Gábor’s mother bakes throughout the summer.

Hungarian hidegtál at The-Tasting Table Budapest

The Hungarian Cold Plate (Hidegtál)

A Hungarian cold plate (“hidegtál”) is a classic way to showcase the wide variety of charcuterie which butcher shops, market stalls, and kitchen pantries are brimming with.

Central Market Hall Budapest

Budapest’s Nagy Vásárcsarnok (Central Market Hall)

With its cavernous interior, the vast three-level Central Market Hall should be a spot of pilgrimage for any food-lover coming to Budapest, where you can spend hours shopping and snacking.

Tokaji aszu old vintage 1956

The 1956 Tokaj Aszú: A Wine With A Long Finish

The 1956 vintage was a good one in Tokaj. But 1956 didn’t go down in the history books for the great quality of botrytis in Tokaj, rather because of the revolution that began on October 23rd.

Hungarian paprika peppers

Hungarian Paprika: The Essential Red Spice

If there is one ingredient that Hungary is undeniably associated with, it's paprika. It symbolizes Hungarian cuisine and is an essential component of some of the best-known Hungarian dishes.

Tokaj Jewish Wine Heritage_Zimmerman_Aszu

The Lost World of The Jewish Wine Trade in Hungary (and The Old Habsburg Empire) Part I.

This story of how the Hungarian (and Central European) wine trade functioned before the two world wars and communism is not a well-known one.

retro Hungarian sweets

Old-School Hungarian Sweets

Those who grew up during the Communist era in Hungary will know these Hungarian sweets well (although some may never want to taste again). 

Sólet at Rosenstein, A Budapest Experience Worthy of a Pilgrimage

At Rosenstein, solét is a hearty, wonderfully-prepared meal that not only deserves a pilgrimage but also clearly underlines the restaurant's motto: everything is kosher that tastes good.

Cooking stuffed cabbage in Hungary

Taste Hungary’s 100 Essentials List

We've compiled what we think are the most essential (and tastiest) food, drinks, and experiences that just cannot be missed. We hope you can check all of them off!

Birsalmasajt_quince_jelly

Birsalma Sajt (Quince Jelly) Recipe

The knobby quince has never been one of the most popular fruits. But come autumn, this humble and rather unattractive fruit is transformed into an anticipated seasonal delicacy.

kovaszos uborka with fish

Kovászos Uborka (Fermented Cucumber) Recipe

In Hungary, this hot stretch of summer in which the city empties and not much happens is known as cucumber season. The markets, of course, are also full of small, bumpy cucumbers.

chicken paprikás

Paprikás Csirke (Paprika Chicken) Recipe

Paprikás csirke is a staple of home-cooking and at étkezdes (lunch-rooms), yet it is an elegant dish (but much simpler to prepare than its thick, complex, flavorful sauce suggests).

Budapest Kórház Utcai Market homemade jams

Budapest’s Kórház Utcai Market

Lying low at the foot of the Árpád híd, Kórház utcai Market is a vital and yet lesser-known part of Budapest's ingrained market culture.

Galuska_Taste Hungary

Galuska (Dumplings) Recipe

Galuska are the preferred accompaniment for pörkölt and paprikás, and are also often served with eggs and lettuce for a super-simple lunch at the étkezde.

Kocsonya

Kocsonya (Meat Jelly/Aspic) Recipe

If your grandmother made this dish for the holidays, you either loved it or hated it. There's pretty much no middle-ground, and there's no denying the lingering memory of this shimmering meat jelly.

csipetke recipe

Csipetke (Pinched Pasta) Recipe

Though making homemade pasta for a soup might sound very time-consuming, it’s actually quite quick and simple.

Third Wave Coffee in Budapest

Hungary's love of coffee is grounded in history. And gourmet java lovers have plenty of cafes where they gather to sip their favorite bitter brew.

Christmas in Hungary

You can tell Christmas is coming in Hungary when cukrászdas begin stockpiling beiglis. Whether filled with poppyseed or walnuts, these cylindrical shaped cakes are the essence of Hungarian Christmas.

Husleves with bone marrow_Taste Hungary

Sunday Lunch in Hungary

Sunday lunch is practically a sacred ritual in Hungary. This I learned when I found myself sitting at a table set under towering chestnut trees, eating the kind of meal I usually only ate on holidays....

Hungarian folk music

Taste Hungary Playlists

Here are some of our favorite Hungarian tunes—an eclectic mix of everything from folk, jazz, and Jewish to rap, pop, and Gypsy music—to get you in the Hungarian spirit!

old Hungarian menu

Hungarian-English Culinary Dictionary

Get your kitchen Magyarul in gear with this useful culinary dictionary.

Hungarian antique menu

English-Hungarian Culinary Dictionary

Get your kitchen Magyarul in gear with this useful culinary dictionary.

Pogácsa at Daubner_Budapest

Pogácsa at Daubner

Homemade, flaky pogácsa is the quintessential Hungarian snack, eaten at all times of the day and on any occasion.For the best, many Budapesters swear by Daubner Cukrászda.

Tokaj Jewish Wine Heritage_Flegmann

The Lost World of The Jewish Wine Trade in Hungary (and The Old Habsburg Empire), Part II.

What happened before the takeover of the state-owned coops in Hungary, which lasted more than forty years (and devastated Hungarian wine)?


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