Due to its colourful history,  Hungarian cuisine has been influenced by many nationalities most noticeably the Turks, who introduced that all important ingredient - Paprika! Further influence came from the Bulgarians and later the Austrians and Germans, allowing Hungary to create a cuisine which is uniquely Hungarian.

Authentic Hungarian dishes are not for those on a diet as they tend to be quite heavy and the meat rather fatty or they are cooked with vast amounts of fat.

Unfortunately, the fat is required to create that authentic Hungarian flavour and when cooked with a quality paprika, the aroma and taste is unmistakably Hungarian..

Hungarians cook with a limited number of ingredients, preferring fresh, home grown fruits and vegetables ,only using those that are in season. Even now, in traditional villages, most meat is raised domestically, ensuring that every item cooked is as fresh as possible - which only adds to the taste of the finished dish.

The ingredients which are most important in achieving that authentic Hungarian taste are:

§ Paprika - both sweet and hot

§ Pigs fat or lard

§ Garlic

§ Sour cream - every household has at least one tub in their fridge

§ Curd cheese, walnuts and poppy seeds used in cakes and the Hungarian pastries which you will find for sale everywhere.

Like ourselves, most Hungarians prefer to buy what they don't raise or grow at the local farmers market rather than the supermarkets as the quality is better and the cost is less - especially if you buy from the smaller stalls where they usually sell produce freshly picked from their own garden.