Did you know that Hungarian food can’t be separated from spicy peppers? Yes, they like the spicy Hungarian type of peppers. In addition, Hungarians also like to consume a lot of cheese and meat as well as soups and stews. The specialties of this country are closely related to diversity because each region has a different recipe.
Traditional Hungarian dishes are part of the country’s proud and plentiful cultural heritage. Let’s take a look at the list of Hungarian specialties that are famous for their delicacy below!
Kifli is a crescent-shaped roll that can be eaten plain, sprinkled with poppy seeds, sesame, or cumin, or served with fruit jam or honey. Although not much is known about the origin of kifli, there are reports that kifli was invented when Christians defended Buda, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, from the Ottoman Empire.
As a sign of celebration, the town’s bakers began selling fresh crescent-shaped rolls. Today in Hungary kifli is usually made for Christmas celebrations. While there are many different types of kifli throughout Europe, such as vanilla kifli or makos kifli, none are quite like the original crescent-shaped roll.
Maybe goulash is the first thing that comes to mind when asked about the famous Hungarian food. That’s true because this food is very popular. In Hungary, goulash is known as gulyás which is the name for the shepherd who came from this country and liked to make this food in the 9th century.
This meal is prepared in a kettle over an open fire. In some places the original, the traditional method is still used. Goulash is a hearty soup traditionally made with beef, but sometimes pork, veal, and even chicken. Hungarian peppers are the main ingredient of this dish along with other vegetables and spices.
There are many versions of goulash in this country. Some are more like soups than stews, but some are filled with healthy vegetables. Additionally, there is a version served with small egg noodles called “csipetke”.
This is a classic dish to take with you on the go. Lángos are deep-fried flatbreads that are fried and eaten warm and spread with sour cream and grated cheese. Can also be given the smell of garlic butter. This Hungarian specialty is available year-round and makes for a savory snack at an affordable price.
Lángos was introduced by the Turks during their residency centuries ago and today it can be found at most of the fairs on all the borders of Eastern European countries during local celebrations. This bread is traditionally baked in front of a brick oven close to a fire.
But now that people don’t have brick ovens and not many Hungarians make this bread at home, lángos are fried in oil and sold as delicious fast food. The perfect langos should have a crunchy texture on the outside and be soft and the center should be puffy.
Sometimes it is made with potatoes called krumplis lángos and sometimes it is served with sausage, called kolbász, on top. If you go to Budapest, try lángos from Retro Bufe, which has branches in several places and opens at six in the morning.
Halászlé or fisherman’s soup has its place among Hungarian specialties, such as goulash. Like goulash, halászlé is also cooked in a kettle over an open fire. This soup consists of a mixture of river fish, such as carp, catfish, to pike, and a large portion of spicy peppers that give this soup its distinctive bright red color.
This soup has many variants, such as the Baja style made with thick pasta and especially carp or the most famous fish, Szeged, which is made in four types. This soup is often eaten as a treat for Hungarian Christmas. Usually served on Christmas Eve with white wine. This food can warm the winter.
It is believed that főzelék was made by Hungarians in the 16th century. Nowadays this Hungarian specialty is usually served alone on weekdays as well as a complement to meat on holidays.
Főzelék is such a unique Hungarian dish that it cannot be translated into English. When you first see it, this dish looks just like soup. But it’s more than soup. The right word to call it might be thick vegetable soup. Főzelék is one of the few healthy options on Hungary’s list of national dishes. This dish is practical and easy to make, which makes főzelék a home-cooked dish. There are specialty főzelék bars scattered throughout the city. This dish can be an ideal choice for a quick, healthy, and highly representative Hungarian dining experience.
There are many variations of főzelék including potatoes, chickpeas, peas, lentils, and carrots. Everything is made by boiling and then thickened with flour mixed with sour cream.
- Töltött kaposzta
This dish is another Hungarian specialty influenced by Ottoman cuisine. The delicious Töltött kaposzta is stuffed cabbage. This dish can be a great appetizer or side dish.
Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage is made from fresh or sour cabbage leaves which are then boiled and stuffed with a mixture of minced pork, rice, onions, and flavorful herbs. These neat rolls are topped with sliced sauerkraut and then slowly cooked. Generally, töltött kaposzta is cooked in the oven and topped with tomato sauce and a little sugar for sweetness.
When it is cooked, when served, this dish is topped with a spoonful of sour cream. These cabbage rolls are often thickened with a roux (a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces) seasoned with peppers and served with sour cream. It is a Christmas-time treat as well as other celebratory and special occasions.
- Túrós csusza
Túrós csusza is pasta with cottage cheese. Maybe hearing its name, people are not so sure about this Hungarian specialty, but after trying it, you certainly won’t be able to forget it. This is a traditional Hungarian dish made from special pasta (csusza) together with cottage cheese (very different from other cottage cheeses found in Europe) and crispy meat.
The ingredients were then mixed in a preheated bowl. This is easy to cook, inexpensive, and filling as the main dish. If you want a sweeter taste, there is another version, namely túrós tészta. This variant does not use bacon and instead adds a lot of powdered sugar to the cottage cheese and tejföl cream mixture.
Túrós tészta is also common and this is an opening to get to know all the other typical Hungarian pasta specialties, such as poppy seed paste, walnut paste, or cabbage, which are very popular with locals but not very familiar to visitors.
- Paprika csirke
Paprikás csirke or Hungarian chicken peppers are made from country-style stew cooked in a large skillet over an open fire. Generally, this dish is made using chicken thighs and legs boiled together with onions and cooked in a thick, pepper-flavored broth.
While this dish is similar to the classic pörkölt stew, this chicken pepper stew is topped with sour cream and sometimes flour, which is always added last to create a soft and creamy sauce.
Paprikás is a common menu in restaurants as well as delicious home-cooked meals served traditionally complete with Galuska or csipetke dumplings, boiled potatoes, pasta, or polenta.
This is a popular Hungarian specialty in the form of fruit soup. This fruit soup can be made from any fruit known as gyümölcsleves. But by far the most common variant is the sour cherry soup referred to as meggleves.
This soup is made from whole fresh sour cherries complete with seeds then added sugar, and sour cream and served cold. This dish is most popular in summer as a refreshing appetizer. However, there is also this type of soup made for the winter whose ingredients mostly use winter fruits.
Gyümölcsleves have many variants depending on the seasonal fruit and are cooked with cream or whole milk, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar. Generally, this soup is served as a dinner dish.
However, gyümölcsleves can also be turned into a dessert or an appetizer. The trick is to add a little white or sweet red wine with crème Fraiche on the gyümölcsleves before serving.
All over the world, Hungary is renowned for its sausages and sausages have been a staple in most Hungarian kitchens for hundreds of years. There are many types of cooked sausages known as kolbász. The type of sausage depends on the type of meat, the ingredients, whether it is smoked or not, and the type of seasoning added.
This cooked sausage can be eaten as cold meat, included in salads, or cooked in stews. Most of these types of sausages come from various regions. For example, Gyulai (from Gyula city) in the form of smoked pork sausage cooked with a slow cooking technique or slow-cooked with beech wood. For a more spicy version called Csabai.
While Csemege kolbász is a lighter smoked sausage. There is also Cserkész kolbász which is often made with beef and much more.
Hungary turns out to have a variety of interesting foods. Some of the food is influenced by the Ottoman Empire that once ruled the area. For those who like spicy food, this might suit this Hungarian specialty.
If you are interested in tasting it, you can make it at home. You can easily get the recipe from the internet. Good luck!