While the neighboring countries around Hungary show some sort of similarities in their cuisine – especially the ones from the Slavic language families-, Hungarian kitchen does have some kind of originality, or we can say: an extra ingenuity. We do have many very difficult dishes, whilst surprisingly easy and tasty ones can also be found. This is true for soups, just like for cakes, which are sometimes way overly complicated, but truly delicious.
To help you out in the subject of “what on earth are they selling here?” question, I have collected some interesting starters and soups and their explanation, as the first part of this dictionary.
Disznósajt: Made of parts of the pig’s head, contains the meat, skin, bacon, heart, tongue, sometimes ear. To reach the perfect consistency they use lots of salt and skin, which is needed for the collagen content. Consumed with fresh bread and pickles, flushed with fröccs (wine with soda water).
Kaszinótojás: Hard boiled eggs cut in half, and the egg whites are re-filled with the cooked egg yolk, sour cream, mustard, anchovies mixture. Usually served on French salad base (Russian salad in other countries).
Gulyásleves: Gulyás, is many times mistaken in other countries. I have read many different recipes that was different from our soup. Bográcsgulyás is made of more meat than gulyásleves itself, but it is also considered a soup in our country. Main ingredients are: beef, potatoes, carrot, paprika, cumin, maybe some tarhonya (special round noodle), or simple home made noodle. As both are very rich soups, most of the times only light dishes, pasta, or cake is consumed afterwards.
Lebbencsleves: Lebbencs tészta (pasta) is a certain kind of thin pasta, which is used in this soup, but also frequently eaten with curd and sour cream. This soup also contains potatoes, onions and diced lard as the main ingredients. Very rich, fulfilling soup.
Paradicsomleves: there is a great variety of tomato soups around the world, but do not expect similar flavor in Hungary. Here tomato soup is rather sweet and often enriched with rice or letter-shaped pasta.
Meggyleves: Sour cherry soup. One of the unappreciated soup by foreigners, but I believe if they are brave enough to try it, they will fall in love. Also find my post on this matter.
Are you ready for some new culinary experience, and to taste some of the above mentioned interesting courses?