Reflecting Hungary’s strategic location at the crossroads of Central Europe, Hungarian cuisine is a distinctive blend of dishes, ranging from rich, one-pot soups and stews to delicate pastries. Beef and pork are especially abundant, thanks to the centuries-old domestication of special breeds, such as the long-horn Hungarian grey cattle and the Mangalitsa swine. Other prominent ingredients include seasonal vegetables, breads, cheeses, honey, and of course paprika. In the nineteenth century, the paprika powder made from ground peppers became a key element in Hungary’s spiciest dishes, such as halászlé (a fish soup) and gulyás (or goulash).
Hungarian desserts include a broad array of cakes, pastries, palacsinta (a crêpe-like variety of pancake), and dessert soups such as sour cherry soup. Hungary’s most celebrated alcoholic beverages include pálinka (a fruit brandy that is often homemade) and multiple varieties of wine from several different regions, such as Tokaji Aszú and Egri Bikavér (also known as “the bull’s blood of Eger,” thanks to the strength it allegedly provided the soldiers who defended the Castle of Eger in 1552).
Daily foodways demonstrations were presented in the Hungarian Kitchen.