Tag: traditional Hungarian

#MyHometownGuide – My 5 Favourite Places to Eat And Drink in Budapest

March 14, 2014 8 Comments

 hometown guide

 Thanks to Fiji Water for sponsoring this partner post about my 5 favourite places in Budapest, Hungary. All the opinions written in this post are my own. Click on the image above to enter the competition and win!

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1. Szimpla Ruin Pub & Farmers Market (Szimpla Kert és Szimpla Vasárnapi Háztáji Piac)

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The beginning of the 21st century was an exciting turning point in the nightlife of Budapest: in the central area of the city new places were opened one after another in tenement houses and factory buildings doomed to destruction. These were equipped with rejected furniture (every corner there is a surprise like an old bathtub functioning as a sofa) of old community centres, cinemas, and grandmothers’ flats, bringing a retro feeling into these places. They were soon called ruin pubs and became popular very fast among the youth of Budapest and tourists.

Szimpla Kert is one the oldest pubs and in 2012 it became the world’s third best bar according to Lonely Planet public vote. The place has a unique charm that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. It also became a social venue especially when the farmers market opened its doors and it became quickly a local favourite. It’s a great place to meet Hungarian farmers and artisan food (cheese, sausages, breads, pastries, spreads, etc.) makers. There is always live music, children programmes and charity lunch (for meat eaters and vegetarians too) organized by the pub, the farmers and a non-profit organization so noone goes home hungry. The market is held every Sunday from 9am until 2pm.

Szimpla Kert és Szimpla Vasárnapi Háztáji Piac
1075 Budapest (7th district)
Kazinczy utca 7.
Phone: +36 20 5404891
Website
Ruin Pub Facebook
Farmers Market Facebook

2. Organic Farmers Market (Biopiac)

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My favourite farmer couple: Matthew and his wife, Maria

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Organic products are becoming more and more popular in Hungary. The organic market in Budapest is held every Saturday between 6.30am and 1.00pm in the park at the MOM Cultural Community Center, where farmers, agriculturists and vendors of pre-packed foods sell their produce in kiosks made of wood and thatch. It is said that this is the biggest organic farmers market in Central-Eastern Europe. There is a cafe inside the community center that has a huge terrace – overlooking the market – where you can sit down and eat/drink what you bought at the market. It’s a children friendly place with playground and baby changing room.

The community is very strong, farmers are very friendly and you can easily ask advice from them on how to prepare a special vegetable that is new to you. On average 40-50 vendors are present offering a remarkably wide range of products (that can’t be found anywhere else in Hungary) including, fruits and vegetables, dairies, breads, pastries, honey, smoked meat, sausages, bacon, eggs, jams, juices, cereal germs and imported organic products. Within the organic market only products of strictly controlled ecologic farm provenance can be bought. The authenticity of these organic products is controlled and granted by Biokontroll Hungária Nonprofit Ltd.

The smells, the colors are wonderful and the market’s energy is very filling, so visiting the organic market is highly recommended. It’s my favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning.

Organic Farmers Market (Biopiac)
1124 Budapest (12th district)
Csörsz utca 18.
Post about the market

3. Gozsdu Courtyard (Gozsdu udvar)

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Image courtesy of Gozsdu Courtyard

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Image courtesy of Gozsdu Courtyard

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Image courtesy of Gozsdu Courtyard

Gozsdu Courtyard is a walkway that runs between Király utca and Dob utca.  There are seven buildings with one courtyard spanning a block. You can tell that in the last century it was a beautiful arcade inhabited by wealthy flat owners who had balconies overlooking the walkway below. A few years ago it was restored and today it is a new fresh location of Budapest, a lively, social meeting point where many restaurants (with traditional Hungarian cuisine, Italian, Thai, etc.), trendy cafes, pubs, bars and nightclubs serve the guests.

From April until the end of October a design fair is held where artisans, makers come to sell their jewelry, paintings, crafts and food (honey, chocolate, cakes, spices, etc.).

Gozsdu Courtyard (Gozsdu udvar)
1075 Budapest (7th district)
Between Király utca 13. and Dob utca 16.
Website
Facebook

4. Ruszwurm Confectionery (Ruszwurm Cukrászda)

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The Ruszwurm confectioner’s is a magic from the past in the present in the Castle district in Budapest. It was founded by Ferenc Schwabl in 1827. The place named after one of the owners and managers, Vilmos Ruszwurm. Since 1990 the shop has been run by one of the most famous Hungarian confectioner family, Szamos. Nowadays the confectioner’s is one of the most popular sight of Budapest, the house and the interior (the counter made of cherry wood with mahogany inlay) are protected monuments.

The cream cake (krémes in Hungarian) is my favourite one here. It is made from real vanilla custard (mixed with whipped cream… Oh My, it’s a die for cake!) and sandwiched between very thin layers of flaky pastry and then dusted off with a layer of confectionary sugar. Cream cake is a pure naughty delight on all fronts. 🙂 Don’t miss it!

Ruszwurm Confectionery (Ruszwurm Cukrászda)
1014 Budapest (1st district)
Szentháromság utca 7.
Phone: +36 1 3755284
Website

5. Napfényes Vegan Restaurant (Napfényes Étterem)

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Goulash soup / Stuffed pickled cabbage and filled pancake a’la Hortobágy style

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Fake curd dumplings with soy yoghurt (balls of millet covered in sweet breadcrumbs served with soy yoghurt and powder sugar)

Being a vegetarian I wanted to show you one of the best vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Budapest that serves Hungarian traditonal food (and international dishes as well) vegan style. The restaurant is situated in a basement but in a beautiful atmosphere and with a pretty vaulted brick ceiling. After you enter the place you pass by the kitchen, smelling the wonderful aroma coming out of it.

They have daily menu (even on weekends) and also a’la carte. The self-serve salad bar always has a selection of fresh, mixed and spicy salads. Apart from their home-made desserts, they also offer a selection of vegan pastries and raw cakes. All of their dishes are made with purified water. Portions are pretty big so go there hungry. The service is excellent, waiters/waitresses are friendly and they speak English. It’s not located in the center but close to it so it’s worth the walk.

Napfényes Vegan Restaurant (Napfényes Étterem)
1077 Budapest (7th district) Rózsa utca 39.
Phone: +36 1 3135555
Website
Facebook

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Red Lentil Sauerkraut Soup

November 3, 2013 1 Comment

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This soup is called korhelyleves in Hungarian. Is is originally a meaty cabbage soup that is often eaten on New Year’s Day. Korhely often refers to a person who likes to drink alcohol and as a result is lazy and careless. Sour cabbage (sauerkraut) soup is thought to relieve the symptoms of a hangover, and this is probaby the reason why this traditional Hungarian soup is so popular on New Year’s Eve and also called korhelyleves.

Sauerkraut is made by a process of pickling called lacto-fermentation that is analogous to how traditional (not heat-treated) pickled cucumbers and kimchi are made. The cabbage is finely shredded, layered with salt and left to ferment. Fully cured sauerkraut keeps for several months in an airtight container stored at 15 °C (60 °F) or below. It is extremely high in vitamins C, B, and K; the fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more nutritious than the original cabbage. It is also low in calories and high in calcium and magnesium, and it is a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, potassium, copper and manganese.

I love this soup especially during cold months so I cook it quiet often. Of course, mine is a vegan version and I usually add vegan what sausage to the soup which gives a great smoky flavor to the soup.

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Red Lentil Sauerkraut Soup

Ingredients (serves3-4)
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 2 medium carrot, grated
– 200 g red lentil
– 200 g sauerkraut
– 1 and 1/2 liter water
– 2 bay leaves
– vegan wheat sausages (optional)
– salt
– sunflower oil
– sour cream/soy yoghurt for serving the soup

Wash the sauerkraut well in cold water and chop them.

In a pan heat 3-4 tablespouns sunflower oil and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Then add the grated carrot, red lentil and just enough water to cover. Season with salt, add bay leaves, wheat sausage (if you use) and sauerkraut. Put a lid on top and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve the soup with sour cream or soy yoghurt.

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Mákos Nudli, The Hungarian Dumpling With Poppy Seed

February 24, 2013 9 Comments

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Nudli is a dish of potato-based small dumplings popular in Hungarian cooking. It is formed from a soft dough of cooked mashed potatoes, flour, salt and sunflower oil; the dumplings are boiled and rolled in sugar and poppy seeds.

Poppy seeds are common ingredient in Hungarian cuisine. So much, that it’s not unusual to find poppy seeds even in pasta and noddle dishes!

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This recipe for mákos nudli is a traditional favorite in Hungary that includes a generous amount of poppy seeds. It’s quite simple and easy to make.

To get my recipe visit The Hungarian Girl’s website here.

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Mákos Guba, The Traditional Hungarian Christmas Dessert

December 13, 2012 1 Comment

This dessert brings back so many memories from my childhood. In Hungary the Christmas tree is decorated on the Holy Night (December 24) in immediate families. For us, Christmas is a private, family holiday and we don’t go to parties. Most families decorate the tree together, but some families keep the tradition that the tree should be a surprise for children, who believe it is brought by angels.

When I was a child I entered the room with my brother only when the small tree bells rang. Everything was magical: the smell of the Christmas tree, lit candles and sparklers on the tree. Gifts were laid around the tree with small labels saying who they were for. We usually sang one or two Christmas songs, then opened the gifts and spent the night together.

The menu for the Holy Night in Hungary is very traditional. We usually have fish soup made from carp, followed by fried carp with french fries or potato salad. As a dessert we eat beigli, a special pastry roll filled with poppy seed or walnut.

Also a Christmas classic, mákos guba is a dessert made with poppy seeds and honey. Poppy seed is a popular ingredient all over Central-Eastern Europe and there are many dessert recipes in the Hungarian cuisine that call for it.

Mákos guba is baked in the belief that the poppy seeds bring good luck and lots of money in the new year. A quick way to make it is using a day-old, dry kifli, a crescent-shaped pastry, but you can use any type of roll or bread.

I make it the traditional way from yeasted dough as I learnt from my grandmother years ago. She was the one who was responsible for mákos guba to make it for the whole family. My dear granny passed away only two months ago and we miss her so much. This Christmas my mom and I are responsible for making this sweet, traditional dessert that reminds us how life precious and we have to respect what we have.

To get my recipe visit The Travel Belles’ website here.

Túrós Pogácsa – Cottage Cheese Scones

November 21, 2012 2 Comments

Pogácsa is a type of savory scone in Hungarian cuisine. Pogácsa is made from either short dough or yeast dough. As with scones and biscuits, eggs and butter are common ingredients, as is milk, cream or sour cream. Many traditional versions exists, with size, shape – the most common is round – and flavor variations in each region.

A dozen different ingredients can be found either in the dough, sprinkled on top before baking, or both: medium-firm fresh cheeses, aged dry hard cheeses, potato, pork crackling (tepertő), cabbage, black pepper, hot or sweet paprika, garlic, red onion, caraway seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or poppy seeds. Pogácsa is a very popular savoury snack, it also can be eaten for breakfast. It is best to eat warm, fresh from the oven.

I learnt this recipe from my mom. When we baked it together we used Hungarian túró (cottage cheese/quark) but as an alternative you can use dry curd cottage cheese. By the way, they are dangerous! Why? My friend, Giulia put it the right way: “Is it impossibile to stop eating them when you start, right?” Yes, Giulia, you are right! :)To get my recipe visit The Hungarian Girl’s website here.