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What is your favorite Hungarian dish or food item?

For a snack, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.

For me it is lángos. Every now and then a bit of deep fried, garlic and cheese laided bit of cardiac arrest just soothes my soul.  :)

Kurtoskalacs is a seasonal favorite of mine.
For my everyday treat -- although not cardiac friendly -- is szalami and cheese with eros pista and paprika slices.

I'd go for the easy favourites:

gyulasleves with galuska

&

porkolt

klsallee :

For me it is lángos. Every now and then a bit of deep fried, garlic and cheese laided bit of cardiac arrest just soothes my soul.  :)

Don't you think it's just like a big flat donut with cheese on top?

I agree though, sharing one (half each) is quite nice for the soul with an ice cold beer (each).

fluffy2560 :

Don't you think it's just like a big flat donut with cheese on top?

Yes.

Absolutely.

And it is wonderful.  :)

I am sort of an "ok" cook with Hungarian dishes these days.
Believe me it was a long and hard road to learn to cook for my fussy husband.
Today was a easy breezy cooking day.
Let's see for dinner, Had left over veg. soup HU style with chicken breasts wrapped in bacon ( everything has to have pork in HU)  and roasted carrots and parsnips.A side of my homemade pickled beets, cold.
While that was going I made tomorrows dish, home made chicken soup, and chicken paprikas, cut up a while chicken.
Love the onions here in HU, so nice and sweet makes cooking easy with good ingredients.
Going to make galuska fresh for the meal tomorrow. might have some of my homemade picked beets on the side, or a fresh green salad.
Husband has some thyroid issues ATM and I am overloading him with vitamins in any form, salads, soups and steamed.
Killing him with fresh veg's and vitamins.
I usually never cook a day ahead of time but plan on washing all the ceilings and windows tomorrow, just don't want to get worn out.
Fave HU food is hard to say, I love soups and chicken dishes but since moving to HU we seem to eat allot or pork.
I was meat free for over 30 years so  still trying to figure out what is my fave meat dishes.
The very first real oral fight my husband and I had was over a chicken and my lack of cooking it for him. He had spoiled me by taking me out to eat all the time then he would cook for me. He came home from a long day of work and I was doing my nails red, he asked where the chicken was and I said in the fridge, I had thought he wanted to cook for me again, wrong... I walked out in a huff and we almost broke up over a chicken dinner.
I stormed out telling him I was not his "slave" went to visit my 2 HU girlfriends at work and they both said to me, do what you want but if you want a HU husband you had better go home and cook dinner.
Went home and we cooked it together, it was a "reality check" for me.
After that I got cookbooks and tried cooking HU foods, somethings were not fit for the dog but I did learn.
I like cooking now most times, used to do it in the past only because I didn't work and someone had to cook.
Taught my Japanese DIL how to cut up a whole chicken last time I visited her. Seems in Japan everything is already cut and packaged ,she never knew how to cut up a whole chicken before.
I do enjoy goose grease on toast with a cup of hot tea for breakfast sometimes.
I don't really do lunch, we eat mid day and that's about it.

Lately due to health issues we seem to be eating allot of ground flax seed with yogurt and fruit for breakfast, not exactly exciting but healthy. I am not really a big breakfast person, a slice of toast is enough for me with coffee and tea.

Marilyn Tassy :

.....
The very first real oral fight my husband and I...

Tell me about it....

We still haven't resolved if an avocado is a fruit or a vegetable.

Luckily we are currently agreed on tomatoes.

fluffy2560 :

Luckily we are currently agreed on tomatoes.

Botanically, it is a fruit.

But..... the tomato is the official “vegetable” of New Jersey and  the official fruit (and vegetable) of Arkansas.

No wonder why I roll my eyes with politicians......

fluffy2560 :

We still haven't resolved if an avocado is a fruit or a vegetable.

it is technically / biologically a fruit.

Now I am curious, who won? You or your wife?

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

We still haven't resolved if an avocado is a fruit or a vegetable.

it is technically / biologically a fruit.

Now I am curious, who won? You or your wife?

Hmmm....we're at an avocado impasse with entrenched positions.  I'm not even sure if we're still disagreeing.   

I think it's actually a  seed.  I consultant the font of all knowledge aka Wikipedia.

fluffy2560 :

Hmmm....we're at an avocado impasse with entrenched positions.  I'm not even sure if we're still disagreeing.

Call a "Christmas truce" and make out. Then do things no one here needs know about.

Seriously, who cares what avocados are, or are not?**  ;)

**How I keep a happy marriage.  :par:

Thinking it over, I have to say my fave HU dish is Szekely Kaposta.
Anything with sour cabbage and I am happy.
Stuffed Kaposta, stuffed paprika is also nice.
Grew up on stuffed cabbage and beet soup but more Polish style then HU style.
The very, very best Szekely kaposta I ever had was in New Jersey.
A elderly HU couple owned and operated a old fashioned hotel/bar.
We stayed there for a couple of weeks time, a friend of ours was related to the older couple.
They old women served the kaposta at the bar with a glass  of cold beer, I was hooked on it, had it everyday for weeks, my mouth would water just thinking about it...
I think the ingredients  here in Hungary are fantastic most times but even so the dish from NJ took the cake.
That women could cook.
I love all the different sorts of sour pickles available here in HU, I could just get by eating a sandwich and a pickle here.
What is missing these days sadly is the many old style deli's that used to be everywhere in HU.
Think they were called the Golden Bear, a chain of deli's run by the communist gov.
The best pickled salads, olives etc.  casino eggs and potato salad, the best stuff ever.
I think I could actually live in a deli, it would be heaven.
Egg salad anyone!!

Marilyn Tassy :

Thinking it over, I have to say my fave HU dish is Szekely Kaposta.
Anything with sour cabbage and I am happy.
Stuffed Kaposta, stuffed paprika is also nice.
Grew up on stuffed cabbage....

Stuffed cabbage is indeed wonderful.

Sadly, the propaganda of "krauts" regarding the Axis group in WWI and WWII affected the western perception of cabbage on multiple levels.

But cabbage in regional dishes, and in fermented salads, really are a special Hungarian treat.  :)

I love my Kraut, mom cooked it more German style,dad  did it Polish and now the Hungarian way is one of my faves, that touch of paprika.
I love my sour cabbages so much that I have even enjoyed Korean Kim Chi soup with seaweed, my son's old GF used to cook up a batch of that at 1 am. The smell alone woke me up from a coma.
I wonder how many ex pats, enjoy cold pig's feet HU style?
My father used to just boil them up with onions, bay leaves, peppercorns and serve cold for breakfast but the HU version is so much more delicate, takes hours to do just right.
I remember my "bonding" with my father required me at ages 3 and 4 to eat cold pigs feet with onions and rye bread followed by a tiny glass of beer.
Is that child abuse?

Marilyn Tassy :

I remember my "bonding" with my father required me at ages 3 and 4 to eat cold pigs feet with onions and rye bread followed by a tiny glass of beer.
Is that child abuse?

In the current helicopter parent, micro-aggression world view, probably

As for my fixed world view, what a great time to be a kid!

Salute -- with a tiny glass of beer!

Definitely (rakott krumpli?). I dont personally get to eat sausage, egg, or potato very often as my mother still cooks for me and makes Vietnamese dishes so being able to eat that is such a pleasure. My mother in law, however, is well versed and makes these extremely savoury Hungaram dishes. What I've learnt in the past 2 years is that the Hungarian kitchen is by no means lean.

It is pretty hard to be on a diet and be in Hungary.
I used to think my MIL was plotting to make me fat.
I soon realized cream, grease,sauces were normal everyday in HU.
The trick is to eat small portions but as the food is so tasty it is a challenge not to over eat.
Even my mother who had a SIL from HUngary always said to us even before I met my HU husband that the best food in the world is Hungarian.
I agree most times but still I need my Asian/ Italian and Mexican treats.

Marilyn Tassy :

I need my Asian/ Italian and Mexican treats.

I as well. And being a vegetarian these cuisines offer more diversity for me than Hungarian cuisine, which almost always includes meat in the main dish.

My personal favorite Hungarian dish is " töltöttkáposzta " with lot of sour cream on it. I'd eat it all week long !

Yes, one of my all time faves too, stuffed cabbage!!!
I love how you can purchase nice cabbage leaves already pickled in barrels here in HU.
So much easier and nicer then steaming a whole cabbage from scratch and still not getting the pickled flavor right.
I make mine sort of non traditional, use ground turkey meat , also do the half and half with beef/pork and smoked ribs sometimes.
Make a sort of HU style side sauce too, my father made it more Polish style and we didn't use a side sauce, either way, hot or cold I love it.
Always best at least a few days old too!
I love going to the bottom floor of the big market just to smell the cabbage , pickles and salads.

Unless a friend is cooking for me I don't eat hungarian foods at all. 
I have tried a few things and they can be tasty,  salty and fattening.
When I first came to hungary and ate out I was always suspicious that the vegetarian foods I chose had been contaminated with animal fats.
If I eat anything out now I stick to salad,  chips and other very obvious Western items. However there has been some increase in vegan cafes in budapest and I may try one of those.

I just decided to "surrender" about not eating red meat and living in Hungary.
i did my bit for over 30 straight years of not eating ANY red meat, only some fish and chicken once or twice a week, for 7 years straight we didn't even eat those items.
If I have not saved the world buy now, I give up.
Just wish to enjoy the last few years of my life eating and doing what makes me happy.
I also would never allow myself to get heavier then 135 lbs at 5'9" my top weight.
I remember at 9 months pregnant I hit the scales at 153 and my nurse told me I was getting fat, People seem to always tell me I am getting fat even though I have never been over 135 in my life. Wonder why everyone tends to watch my weight for me? My older sister was a skinny model at 108 lbs 5"10" tall and she and her handsome husband told me at age 14 that I might be ok as an adult but should be careful not to get a fat bottom. Not something anyone should ever say to a sensitive teenage girl. I gave up eating for ages, guilt about food is not normal living.
Found myself with health issues because of not eating healthy and avoiding certain foods.
Seemed sort of the fashion of my time, knew at least 4 girls my age who went to hospital for eating disorders. All normal weight before they went mental about food.
So my vanity shows... but I do love Hungarian foods so if I tend to overdo it once in awhile, I will be careful for a few days afterwards and make sure I get some exercise to burn it off.
I had some bulimia issues in my teens so know how to deal with balance in my life.
Not everyone is built to be Twiggy after all.
I say if I am having cream then I am having cream, enjoy it while you can!
I still know when it is time to not overeat but no one these days would think I had any eating disorders. Only in Hawaii did I find people thought me skinny, they like them big over there!
If eating Hungarian food is going to take me down I say go for it, I love Hungarian food.

anns :

Unless a friend is cooking for me I don't eat hungarian foods at all. 
I have tried a few things and they can be tasty,  salty and fattening.
When I first came to hungary and ate out I was always suspicious that the vegetarian foods I chose had been contaminated with animal fats.
If I eat anything out now I stick to salad,  chips and other very obvious Western items. However there has been some increase in vegan cafes in budapest and I may try one of those.

Mrs Fluffy and I were literally just having the same discussion while in the car.  There's too much salt, fat and sugar.  I am surprised they are not all in hospital with clogged arteries.  It's not cheap either. We came to the conclusion it's not actually worth eating out until people here get  an education in healthier food preparation!

anns :

the vegetarian foods

In any "average" Hungarian restaurant, there are typically only three "vegetarian" choices (except for salads):

- Fried mushrooms
- Fried cauliflower
- Fried cheese

The only variant is if you can order a pizza without meat.

But there are foods in Hungary that can be prepared as vegetarian. Lecsó for example.

Of course, without manioc/cassava being available as a staple in some places in Africa, I would have starved. Meat is in everything else. And in Cambodia everything has fish paste in it. So I have been to less vegetarian places.

Cooking at home is always cheaper and healthier no matter if you eat meat or not.
My niece took me to a very high end sushi restaurant inside the Bellagio hotel in Vegas 6 months back.
I honestly have enjoyed sushi from a cheaper source then this 5 star place.
I would rather eat a home cooked meal then eat out, boring overall to get dressed to eat and wait until you are served then then wait for a bill. The whole thing just is uncomfortable to us.
At home you can watch what sort of ingredients are used, what sort of salt and oil is used etc.
My cousin came to visit HU for 3 days, we ate out 3 nights in a row and I felt ill when he left HU.
Nothing like some homemade soup to cure what ails you.

fluffy2560 :

I am surprised they are not all in hospital with clogged arteries.

Sadly, deaths from heart disease in Hungary is one of the highest in Europe (source):

Deaths from ischaemic heart diseases


http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/images/thumb/8/8a/Deaths_from_ischaemic_heart_diseases_%E2%80%94_standardised_death_rate%2C_2013.png/777px-Deaths_from_ischaemic_heart_diseases_%E2%80%94_standardised_death_rate%2C_2013.png

Yet, I still love a greasy, cheesy Lángos.....   ;)   The point being, while eating a Hungarian diet every day may not be such a good idea, one can still like a Hungarian menu item and enjoy having that from time to time without risk or worry (assuming one does not have strict dietary requirements because of orders from their physician). So, and for example, I have maybe at most three Lángos a year.  :top:

Same here a nice mix of HU and of course a nice fresh veg and a fresh veg salad at the same time.
Mom was really into fresh veggies, we always had both a fresh veg as a side dish and the mandatory mixed veggie salad.
We never had chips in the house, it was always carrots and peanut butter on celery snacks.
It was a rare treat to have chips and "junk food" snacks in the house, not sure if we grew up cheap or we grew up healthy.
Always fresh homemade meals everyday guess  that's why we got away with drinking Tang and eating Jello once in awhile.
My mum called junk food by it's name way before it became the chicle.
In grade school the fad was for kids to trade boxed lunches in school.
No one wanted my lunch because it always had carrot sticks and an apple or raisins, no chips or cookies to trade.

Thanks to all that answered so far. And I think as the OP I should weight more in with my views. So here they are:

- Lángos, as already stated above, I love them. They are a greasy fat ladened mess, but I love them none the less. I like mine with garlic and heaps of Trappist cheese. It will rot your arteries. But a man in love does not consider the future.

- Hungarian pancake (crêpe in other areas) filled with stinging nettle and with a tejföl cream sauce.

- Hungarian sour/fermented vegetables.

- Anything fried. Yes, I know, bad for me. In my defense, from the "Sure Thing":

Fat Guy in Bar: I had some more fried food for lunch.
[waitress gives him a look]
Fat Guy in Bar: I know, I know, I shouldn't have had it but I just couldn't help myself. Do you think I lack self-discipline?

And for dessert, of course cake, especially Esterházy Torte:

http://www.expat.com/upload/general_pictures/large/1451837653-1451-pictures_mosaic.jpg

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

I am surprised they are not all in hospital with clogged arteries.

Sadly, deaths from heart disease in Hungary is one of the highest in Europe (source):

Deaths from ischaemic heart diseases

Top places all ex-Communist.

Be interesting to see some stats on former East Germany in say, 1989 to 2016 overlaid with Germany as a whole.  Old habits die hard perhaps!

Funny post about ex commies, yes they probably were the only ones back in the day who could afford the extra cream and snacks.
The everyday man was lucky to have a plate of potato paprika and a slice of bread.
When I visited HU 2 times during those communist times, everyone was slim and healthy looking.
Of course no one was spending half their day on the internet or sitting around gaming all day long.
In the old days no one really worried about overeating anything.
My husband was only 138 lbs. at 5'10" when I met him, he was always so skinny from working hard at physical jobs.
He could pack away 2 huge sandwiches for lunch and desert and still eat a large dinner before bedtime.
First visit to HU I was doing aerobics in my MIL back garden. The lady next door kept staring out her window at me. MY husband said she was wondering why I was wasting calories.
I asked for a diet soda and was told there was no such thing as diet food in HU, people would burn off calories by working hard.

I guess the secret is to enjoy everything you like but only in small portions.

Marilyn Tassy :

.....He could pack away 2 huge sandwiches for lunch and desert and still eat a large dinner before bedtime.
First visit to HU I was doing aerobics in my MIL back garden. The lady next door kept staring out her window at me. MY husband said she was wondering why I was wasting calories.
I asked for a diet soda and was told there was no such thing as diet food in HU, people would burn off calories by working hard.

I was taught in the military, daily average, 2000 (k)cals for women, 2500 for men and 4000  for men when on exercises/war games. 

There was interesting mix in the food packets we received - usually quite a lot of sugary stuff, meat in cans with fat (corned beef) etc.  Not a salad in sight. We usually scoffed the lot AND we still lost weight during exercises.  Hardly surprising when working 24h a day and that work was totally physical.

Makes me think back on my 7 day hiking camping "torture" trip when I was 14 and went off with my 21 year old sister and her brainy husband no. 1.
He was a major at UCSB in chemistry and was also a student teacher during the summers.
He was working forever on getting his PHD, sister divorced him so not sure what happened to him.
Anyways, everything in their live was logic, plain and simple, all science and numbers.
Took us backpacking in the Cal. mountains to the Col. river area.
3 days walk in and 3 out.
He fixed supplies for the hike depending on everything you could imagine, weather conditions, our size calories per mile needed etc. We were  like his pet project.
The worst packaged food ever, This was around 1969 and the dry camping food industry was not very great. Powered eggs, yuck, made us all sick, that messed up the program, trying to hike in the heat and stopping every 10 min. to be sick from the dry eggs.
I made a protest and just sat down and refused to move for a few hours, put a huge dent in his project. My sister finally joined me in the sit in.
That was the last time I ever went camping in the rough, horrible.
I would never make it in the military,those 3 min. showers in boot camp would be a deal breaker.

We used to have packed lunches for school outings that were so delicious that as soon as the coaches left inner London all the food would be eaten. It always included an apple to throw out of the window and a huge slab of fruit cake.
By the time we hit the motorway someone would be sick.

anns :

We used to have packed lunches for school outings that were so delicious that as soon as the coaches left inner London all the food would be eaten. It always included an apple to throw out of the window and a huge slab of fruit cake.
By the time we hit the motorway someone would be sick.

Haha, kids, yes.   

There was a strange thing people did (well, looking back on it).

Sit on their tomato sandwiches to make them all mushy and soft to eat!

I support the discussion on healthy eating very much. But lets try to spin such comments here back to Hungarian cuisine when possible.  :top:

Else, the Absolutely Anything Else thread is an excellent place for random thoughts.  ;)

Having just enjoyed a huge szuret banquet (harvest festival), I can say once again that my friends here make some outstanding guylas, homemade sausages, and slow cooked meats. Not healthy, not the Atkins diet, but oh so yummy!
Washing it down with a gallon of palinka and sor probably didn't help my waistline either -- but I can't remember.  :D

Hungarian potato soup with smoked salami - perfect Winter food. Various salami and sausages are the best in the world. Generally HU cuisine is idiosyncratic, as if Hungary was located somewhere in Scandinavia or Siberia; all dishes are very heavy and fatty typical of countries with cold climate which Hungary is not. So generally when it comes to HU 'cuisine' I only partake in wines - many are delicious and inexpensive.

P.S. Living partime in Budapest I have access to more ethnic delicious food than in Germany or Belgium. Hungarian restaurant industry in Budapest is one of the most diverse in Europe. Sometimes I cannot help but compare variety to Manhattan and find quality and selection better in BP than in NYC.

P.P.S. Anecdotally, I enjoy occasional visit to KFC & McDonalds in Europe , both taste good. Something I would never do in US in million years. Quality of food ingredients and general absence of Corn Syrup in every bite is hard to ignore.

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