One of the best aspects of traveling to another country (if not the best!) is being able to sample local foods. I was lucky during my trip to Hungary in that I was able to both eat the food as well as make it!
Our ReConnect Hungary group headed to Chef Parade in Budapest for a lesson on cooking traditional Hungarian food.
We were divided into teams and each assigned a traditional Hungarian dish.
It can’t be that hard, right?!
Luckily our food turned out fine, and once the other groups were done everyone dug in!
My favorite dishes were the chicken paprikash with nokedli, the deep fried meatloaf, the creamy potato soup with sausage, the sweet cottage cheese balls (which had a fabulous sauce!) and the apple strudel. I’m getting hungry just writing that sentence!
You should definitely try all of these dishes when you visit Hungary!
Wondering what else to eat?
First of all, you must know that Hungarians love soup. It’s served before nearly every meal, and ranges from broth soups to creamier soups.
For main courses, expect to have a lot of meat and starch.
You cannot leave Hungary without trying chicken paprikash. I was surprised to find out that paprika isn’t spicy at all. Instead, it’s a sweet pepper that adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
Make sure to add a generous amount of sour cream. Hungarians also love sour cream!
Nokedli, the mini spätzle-like dumplings served with many of these dishes, are absolutely fabulous! They were always my favorite part of the meal!
There are other versions of paprikash worth trying, like veal paprikash.
You also have to try Hungarian sausage. The cold fruit soup at the top of the picture is also delicious!
And stuffed cabbage should also be on your list. Don’t forget the sour cream!
Finally, gulyás is another famous Hungarian dish worth sampling.
As I mentioned in my birthday post, for cakes the rule of thumb is that the greater the number of layers, the better the quality of the cake. So clearly my birthday cake from Kristaly Cukraszda was delicious!
While in Budapest, you must stop at Gerbeaud for its famous desserts!
Sample their renowned Dobos Torte, which is a sponge cake layered with chocolate cream and topped with caramel.
Or try something new, like the Caramel-Dried Plum Sundae which has vanilla and caramel ice cream, dried plum ragout, caramelized hazelnut pieces, walnut croquant, whipped cream, caramel bonbon and walnut crisp.
For dessert, I also recommend palacsinta, which are thin crepes filled with anything from jam to Nutella.
I’ve never in my life had as much ice cream (fagylalt) as I did during this trip (please note, this is not a complaint…).
Levendula has the best ice cream in Hungary with really unique flavors like violet and lavender.
While Gelarto Rosa in Budapest has the most beautiful fagylalt.
For snacks, these potato chips are made with one long coil of a potato. It looks cool, but is really difficult to eat!
And Lángos, fried dough that is layered with sour cream, garlic and cheese, is now one of my favorite foods ever! I miss it so much!
For drinks (besides pálinka and fröccs) you should try lemonade. It’s not like American lemonade at all! Each time you order it you will end up with different kinds of sliced fruit that rarely ever include lemons.
And as a pro tip, when buying water bottles in Hungary, a pink cap means it will be still water, and a blue cap means that it will be sparkling water. Because it is the absolute worst when you just want water, and you end up with sparkling water instead!
For our last night in Hungary, after half of the Pulis left for Romania, the other half of us went out to dinner at a restaurant called Puli. How perfect is that?!
For my last meal in Hungary, I had raspberry lemonade.
And chicken paprikash.
And it was a very good decision.
I miss Hungary (and Hungarian food!) already! Jó étvágyat!