Fine Wines and Gastronomy
Hungarians are hospitable people, always ready to offer guests delicious food
and excellent wines. In the 1996 Chef's Olympics, Hungary's team won the silver
medal overall, as well as numerous other honors. Hungary's chefs are rigorously
trained through an apprenticeship process dating back to the medieval guild
system. Hungarian wines have earned a reputation for high quality, garnering
first prizes in a number of international competitions.
The country's unique cuisine has influences from the Central
Asian Magyar founders of the nation, Turks, Germans, French, Austrians, Czechs,
Slovaks, Serbians, and Croatians. The simple agrarian and shepherd lifestyles of
the Great Hungarian Plain and mountains have also helped
shape the country's unique dishes.
While many popular restaurants in Budapest have adapted their
cooking to today's lighter style of eating, traditional Hungarian cuisine is for
those with hearty appetites.
Sauces rich in sour cream, delicacies such as goose liver and
an emphasis on meats, including game such as boar and venison, are often on the
menu. Fish - especially Lake Balaton pike, eel stew or a thick and sometimes
peppery fish soup - is also quite popular. Other traditional favorites include
veal paprika stew and roast chicken with cottage cheese noodles. Fabulous
desserts, served with strong espresso, include strudels, tortes and the
legendary Gundel pancakes with chocolate rum sauce.
Wine connoisseurs are familiar with the most famous of
Hungary's wines - the sweet white Tokaji Aszú and strong red Bull's Blood (Egri
Bikavér). Hungary boasts 20 wine-producing districts which make a wide range of
wines,including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Merlot,
Riesling, Chardonnay, sparkling, rosé and other unique Hungarian varieties.
Favorable natural conditions make our country a prime location for the
production of smaller quantities of premium wines.
You can also visit the vineyards and wineries in almost all
regions of the country. The most beautiful landscapes are to be found where the
best wine is produced. Visit the Somló wine region, guarded by a dead volcano
and the ruins of a castle. The vineyards of the Eger and Mátraalja regions
stretch along the romantic foothills of the Mátra and Bükk mountains. Tokaj
vineyards rise from a landscape where the Bodrog and Tisza rivers meet.
Read our art
and wine itinerary featuring Hungary's mediterranean, Southern Transdanubia.