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History and characteristics of Hungarian cuisine...

May 2015

History and characteristics of Hungarian cuisine
From traditions to fine dining

During the nation's colourful history Hungarian cuisine was influenced by many ethnic gastronomies. The first people to live in present-day Hungary were nomads called the Magyars, to whom Hungary's national dish, the meat stew called goulash, can be connected. Dried cubes of meat were put under the saddles which they cooked with onions, and some water was added to make it a stew.

The reign of King Matthias (1458?90), through his Italian wife, Queen Beatrice, brought Italian cooking to Hungary. When the Turks invaded Hungary in the 16th century, they brought their cooking customs with them as well. Among many others, these included the use of paprika as spice. When the Habsburg monarchy gained control over Hungary, German and Austrian cooking styles influenced Hungarian eating habits. During this period, Hungary became famous for its cakes and pastries.

In recent years, chefs are altering Hungarian cuisine to be healthier, lower in calories, but still rich in vitamins, while preserving authentic Hungarian flavours. Besides the Hungarian traditional cuisine one can find several fine dining restaurants in Budapest.

The traditional Hungarian dishes contain simple ingredients. There are excellent conditions in Hungary for growing tasty vegetables and fruits, and to raise domestic animals with savoury meat. Some typical ingredients used in traditional Hungarian cuisine include paprika powder, lard, onion and garlic, sour cream, cottage cheese, and walnut and poppy seeds.

Hungarian Traditional Cuisine

Fine Dining


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