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Hungarian cuisine was historically based on one pot cooking due to the semi-nomadic lifestyle of the Magyar people who initially settled in the area and is still remembered in the goulashes of the country today. Paprika is the other well known cooking ingredient used in Hungary but what else can the culinary traveller expect to eat whilst visiting this land locked eastern European country?
Typical Hungarian Starters Include Fish or Bean and Pork Soup
The usual first course for a Hungarian dinner is some form of soup which is nearly always seasoned with the spice for which the country is renowned â€“ paprika. Traditional fish soups from Hungary involve fresh water fish such as carp or pike. Another well known soup from this country is one made using beans (pulses rather than vegetables) and pigâ€™s hock.
However, there are other typically Hungarian first course options to try if soup doesnâ€™t appeal. Most restaurants will offer other choices such as goose and pork patÃ©, a plate of different types of Hungarian smoked sausage and salami, fish dumplings with a dill and mushroom sauce or perhaps deep fried mushrooms with a Tartare dipping sauce.
Hungarian Main Courses Include Stuffed Cabbage and Fried Cheese
Coating slices of things in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and frying them is a common feature of Hungarian cuisine. RÃ¡ntott libamÃ¡jszeletek is made by slicing goose liver before dipping it alternately in flour and beaten egg and then coating it with bread crumbs before frying the slices in hot goose fat. RÃ¡ntott sajt is another popular dish which is prepared in the same way using thick slices of Hungarian Trappista cheese instead of goose liver.
Different types of goulash are, of course, always available â€“ not just the most famous one made using beef. Venison or veal goulash makes a tasty alternative as does mushroom goulash which is often available for vegetarians. Stuffed cabbage made using smoked bacon, sauerkraut and sausage meat also features heavily in Hungarian menus as do various game dishes.
Try Chestnut PurÃ©e or Fruit Strudel for a Traditional Hungarian Dessert
Fruit strudels are a favourite dessert in Hungary and are made using flaky pastry and a variety of fruit fillings, some of which include walnut and raisins. The other national pudding is gesztenyepÃ¼rÃ© which is made using grated chestnut purÃ©e, sugar and whipped cream â€“ it is often spiced up with a drop of rum. With cakes and pancakes also featuring heavily in Hungarian cuisine, thereâ€™s bound to be something to tempt any sweet tooth.