5+1 Weirdest Hungarian Dishes – Daily News Hungary

Countries around the world often offer a wide selection of strange dishes. Hungary is no exception, as Hungarians eat some of the most unique (and often quite strange) foods in the world. From common types of dishes to what some would find quite dizzying; come with us to discover the culinary curiosities that Hungary has to offer!

A pinch of culinary history

It is a known fact that different nations of the world vary in their culinary attractions. This is simply due to cultural and environmental differences. Environments largely influence how people cook and the availability of ingredients, while traditions dictate local cooking standards. Of course, we shouldn’t forget a nation’s outward history, which can also strongly influence the types of food people eat. Take the example of Hungary.

Centuries ago, when the nomadic ancestors of the Hungarians roamed the great plains of the Carpathians, simple and effortless meals were in high demand. Later, around the 5th and 16th centuries, the peoples of Turkey and Italy both exerted their influence on the local cuisine, not to mention the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the latter came an extravagant, refined and sophisticated style of cooking. Combine all of this and you have the delicious Hungarian cuisine we know today. However, we now bring you a list of oddities and extremes, dishes that you will hardly find even in traditional Hungarian restaurants.

Let’s try these specialties!

Főzelek

Source: Mindmegette.hu

A dish too thick to be a soup and too thin to be considered a stew. Yes, it’s the traditional Hungarian meal, főzelék. Its great popularity can be attributed to many factors. Most likely, people love főzelék because of how easy it is to prepare. Főzelék can be made from almost any legume: peas, lentils, green or yellow beans, etc. The főzelék with pumpkin and spinach is not unknown either! If you want to try your hand at making this Hungarian specialty, here are the basics. After choosing your favorite base legume, simply add water, bring to a boil, and thicken with a roux (preferably flour-based).

Fried bologna

This starter is simple: bologna dipped in beaten eggs and breadcrumbs, then fried. It was a regular meal in many Hungarian school cafeterias. However, due to stricter regulations on what children are allowed to be served, fried bologna has been removed from the menu. These days, grandparents all over Hungary are familiar with this easy dish. Whether they remember them fondly or hold them in strong disdain is another matter of discussion. Some simply find bologna to be unpalatable, with little or no meat in each slice. Sometimes you wonder what it’s made of.

Zuzapörkölt

This dish shows just how ingenious the Hungarian culinary scene is. The basis of zúzapörkölt is, well, pörkölt: a more well-known specialty. Instead of using beef or pork, this dish is made with chicken gizzards. Don’t worry, this hearty stew is sure to be satisfying. Serve it with cooked pasta or nokedli (a type of small noodle) for the most authentic experience.

Fried chicken heart

From one extraordinary ingredient to the next, this next entry is sure to amaze some readers. He uses another strange ingredient, chicken heart. This is one of the easiest meals to prepare, just pour oil into an iron skillet with a lid, add spices, stir well and cook over medium heat. It will release a lot of juice, let it boil. When the meat is about to be cooked, remove the lid and bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the juices are about to evaporate, cook for another minute maximum, stirring constantly. Mashed potatoes, potatoes with parsley and potatoes with onion and butter make a perfect side dish.

fried blood

This dish is also linked to the long tradition of pig slaughter, which is not exclusive to Hungary. However, festivities take center stage at these fall gatherings. Once a year the whole extended family gets together to sing, dance and drink lots of pálinka together! It is customary to use all parts of the pork in various recipes. The first part of a pig slaughter is to drain all the blood from the pig in the morning. Fried blood is usually prepared by letting the blood congeal, then frying it with onions to be served as breakfast.

Headcheese

Head cheese Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Finally, this dish might turn a few heads. Probably the strangest Hungarian dish is disznósajt (literally pig words [disznó] and the cheese [sajt]). It is made from any leftover pork, at the end of the pork slaughter, as detailed above. Brawn is also not an exclusively Hungarian dish. Originally from Europe, he conquered the world. However, Hungarians have a unique way of preparing this dish. Minced meat is stuffed into the belly of the pig, similar to Scottish haggis, pricked with needles, then pressed with weights to remove excess fat and make the cheese firm and compact. It is often smoked, like sausage or ham.

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Laura T. Thrasher