If you’ve ever encountered hungarian gastronomy in your life then I am sure some points will sound familiar. If you have not, then read this article, and reserve a table in the closest hungarian restaurant. You won’t regret it.
We love sour cream, cottage cheese and paprika
But only ours. Every culture makes these ingredients a bit differently but for us nothing can beat the hungarian products. And we use them all_the_time. For appetizers, soups, main dishes, desserts… A little sour cream makes everything better, cottage cheese covered in chocolate (Túró Rudi) is the best snack and there’s no Sunday lunch without paprika on the table.
We believe that pálinka cures every disease
Well, not me, and I hate pálinka, but if you get sick, you will hear „drink pálinka, it will help!” all the time. Pálinka is a spirit and everyone has a relative on the countryside who makes it at home and hands it out in old mineral water bottles. (Always smell the mineral water bottle on a hungarian home party before drinking from it! There’s a high chance it’s not water.) So whatever your illness may be, pálinka will help. Cold? Pálinka! Migraine? Pálinka! Toothache? Pálinka! Lost an arm on the battlefield? Pálinka!
We don’t eat fish
Even though we have rivers and lakes and a popular dish called fisherman’s soup, and a lot of people go fishing as a hobby, we eat very little amounts of fish. By very little I mean that the average in the European Union is ~20 kg/year/person, while in Hungary it’s ~4 kg/year/person. And 30-40% of that is consumed during Christmas. But the most ridiculous part of our relationship with fish is the hake of Lake Balaton. There are tens of thousands of tourists at the lake every summer and hake is the most popular beach food next to lángos. Hint: hake does not live in the Balaton. We sit on the beach and eat imported fish. Wtf.
We love fröccs
Fröccs is wine mixed with soda water. Every mixing ratio has it’s own special name that you can only remember if you drink it regularly or you work as a bartender. Some might say (I am looking at you, boyfriend) that it ruins the wine but actually it makes even the shitty wine good. It’s also super refreshing in summer, and helps with the hydration during drinking which we always forget. Give it a try!
We think pig slaughter is the best festival
So there’s still a living tradition on the countryside of killing a pig publicly (yes, it’s brutal). After the poor victim is dead, people start to process the meat. They make sausages, roasted blood with onion, and tepertő, which is actually roasted fat. Meanwhile they are getting really drunk on pálinka of course. More and more people turn away from this tradition (like me who never liked it), but it’s still a popular tourist destination.