As the saying goes, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
The same thoughts go for my travels as well. Sampling the local food is a surefire way to immerse into a new destination.
I’ve done a big share of that here in Brussels, sampling the Belgian culinary offers with dangerous consequences. 😉 But hey, it’s food, so who I am to say no?
My recent trip to Hungary had us going through the Budapest nightlife, getting the best out of the amazing ruin bars experience. But after every party, there is the usual appetite for some food.
Hungary is not really known for its culinary prowess but it’s not an excuse for a chow. Here are some of my favourites and in my opinion, the must-tries!
This is the food to die for … and literally death looks imminent after finishing one langos. Why? Langos is made with deep-fried dough smothered with your choice of toppings. It’s like pizza but deep fried and gleaming with oil. Like our favourite Italian dish, it comes with various toppings like ham, cheese, garlic, yoghurt and cream but you can also order it without any toppings. The sour cream and cheese combination is the most popular.
Langos is best experienced after a long night out as it’s good for draining all the alcohol out of your body.
Moving on to healthier pastries, we have pogacsa. It’s a round pastry baked with cheese often mixed with the dough. The cheese makes it taste salty and sweet at the same time. It can also be baked with pork skin, cabbage and onions. It’s great for breakfast but can be consumed as a snack too.
Pogacsa is a popular and staple food in the country. They are so well-regarded that they even have festivals for it. And they have reasons for celebrating this sumptuous bread. Travellers in Hungarian stories are usually depicted carrying pogacsa when they go on their trip!
Retes is Hungarian’s answer to the German strudel (more like equivalent). It’s a pasty pie cooked with plums, strawberries, apples, cheese or chocolate as filling. It’s then topped with confectionery sugar.
One fun fact: Did you know that the round version of rétes was also known as “lie-in” rétes, because it was given to women who just had come from child birth. 😉
Kolbasz are better known the English-speaking world as “Hungarian smoked sausages”. They are often prepared with paprika, and eaten dried and in small pieces. Kolbasz is prepared depending on the region where it came from. Gyulai and Csabai are the two most famous ones. It’s my favourite food from the bunch – and has this special ingredient that makes you want to eat more (maybe it’s just me though).
Hungarians are so crazy for Turo Rudi’s that they even ran out of stock when we attempted to buy from one of their supermarkets (and it wasn’t even zombie apocalypse).
And what is there to go crazy for? Honestly, I don’t know.
Well, Turo Rudi is a chocolate candy filled with curd and can come in a variety of flavours. It literally translates to English “curd bar”. Doesn’t sound very appetizing though. But believe me this polka-dot packaged delight is a treat. 🙂
That’s it – I don’t think you’ll be rushing to Hungary anytime soon with this post. But with a good ruin bar nightlife, amazing sceneries and now good food, I don’t see any reason not to go! Bon appetit!
Have you sampled any of these Hungarian culinary treats? What are the other must try delicacies of Hungary? Share them below.