Traditional Hungarian Food Favorites

Hungarian cuisine has many special and delicious ingredients which can only be discovered during a trip to one of their many food markets. Budapest has many and tourists and locals alike can pick up their favorite traditional Hungarian foods or discover new ones. Hungarian cuisine has lots of food and beverage specialties that fall under the name of Hungarikum, which means typical from the country.

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Hungarian Paprika

Traditional Hungarian Foods - Hungarian Paprika

Paprika is without a doubt the symbol of Hungary’s cuisine. Its pungency ranges from sweet to mildly hot and very hot, depending on the type of pepper the powder was produced. The color of the spices also varies from mild to bright red, although there are also paprika powder types with a brownish color. You can buy it in various packaging, even in neat gift boxes to take it home as a souvenir.

Goose Liver Pâté

Traditional Hungarian Foods - Goose liver pate

Hungary is the world’s second-largest foie gras producer (after France), and the largest exporter. Goose liver pâté is one of the best-known gourmet products of Hungary and an interesting alternative to the better-known French version. Thinly sliced and served with fresh toast, it looks amazing. They recommend the Pick brand.

Hungarian Salami

Traditional-Hungarian-Foods-Hungarian-Salami

The Hungarian salami is a unique sausage which is smoked and has white casing. The best ones are Pick salamis, which can be found in every Budapest market, nicely hanged at butcher’s counters.

Hungarian Wines

Traditional Hungarian Foods - Hungarian wines

The most famous Hungarian wines are Tokaji Aszú, a sweet dessert wine, and Egri Bikavér, a dry red wine. There are other great but lesser known Hungarian wines that are also worth checking out. Hungarian wines can be bought in any of the Budapest markets or in one of the numerous wine shops in Budapest, but you can also discover them in one the wine tastings the Historic Faust Wine Cellar in Buda Castle offers.

Hungarian Palinka

Traditional Hungarian Foods - Hungarian Palinka

Palinka is a traditional fruit brandy, revered for its punch, flavor and fragrance. It can be drunk before or after a meal, but some suggest enjoying it after a meal as a digestive. Palinka can be purchased throughout Hungary and ordered at restaurants, but they recommend savoring it in one of the Pálinka & Chocolate or Palinka & Hungarian Sausage Tastings in BARbár Cafe.

Hungarian Dried Fruits

Traditional Hungarian Foods - Hungarian Dried Fruits

Hungarian fruits taste delicious and their dried versions conserve and enhance their flavors. They are healthy snacks on their own but they can also be put in pastries. In the Budapest markets, vendors sell them by the pound and they are the perfect walking companion.

Hungarian Pickles

Traditional Hungarian Foods - Hungarian Pickles

Hungarians are real experts in making savory pickles, as gherkins, onions, sweet and chilli peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, etc., jammed in spicy, pickled juice. They are perfect appetizers, although Hungarians also use them with meat dishes. The best places to buy them are the markets, where vendors sell them by the pound.

Even if you don’t buy any of these specialties you can’t leave Budapest markets without giving a try to the most famous Hungarian snack: the lángos, a yeast-based dough fried in oil and topped with sour cream and cheese.

Traditional Hungarian Foods - Hungarian Langos

How about you? Have you ever tried any of these Hungarian food delights?

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11 Comments

  1. Shar
    July 25, 2012

    Years ago, I work with a girl from Hungary and she brought me some Hungarian paprika. It was fairly pungent and was fabulous in recipes. Enjoy!

    Reply
  2. Sherry Compton
    July 27, 2012

    Would love to try the Hungarian paprika, pickles, and wine. Wonder what I can find around here. No travel plans for me, but I’m excited for you. Have fun and keep writing to us!

    Reply
  3. Lady Jennie
    July 28, 2012

    My husband’s grandfather was Hungarian and my MIL makes a mean goulash!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      July 28, 2012

      @Jennie, I LOVE goulash!

      Reply
  4. Katharina
    July 28, 2012

    I’ve been wanting to order some Hungarian paprika online forever and now
    I’ll finally get it done. Thank you for reminding me! Katharina
    angelsandmusic[at]gmail[dot]com

    Reply
  5. kelly nicholson
    July 29, 2012

    im hungry now baby..i want some wine!

    Reply
  6. amy v
    July 30, 2012

    Wow, I realize how ‘unworldly’ I am when I look at your posts! I love pickles and onion and paprika….so perhaps I’d like this food you posted about..

    Reply
  7. Sarah L
    July 30, 2012

    I want some palinka. I’m hungry too.

    Reply
  8. nicolthepickle
    November 20, 2012

    My husband mentioned that Paprika had no taste the other day. I had to tell him he was buying the wrong stuff. Apparently he needs to go to a Hungarian market.

    Reply
  9. Arinna Black
    November 27, 2012

    I’d love to try some of those pickles, especially the tomato ones, and the lángos as well (it sounds delicious, if not really bad for my diet).

    Reply
  10. Ilana
    March 21, 2013

    I love a lot of things about Hungarian cuisine, but especially the sweets and the cakes. You should try at least 4 times the famous kurtos kalacs, or to visit any coffee shop from the historical center for tasting the local cakes.

    Reply

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