Hungarian Naturally

TRADITIONAL HUNGARIAN FOODS AND DRINKS

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Introduction
Hungary is blessed with abundant natural resources: fer tile land, plains and bills are traversed by full-flowing rivers: on the shores of Lake Balaton and in the nor thern hill range, volcanic hills provide an excellent microclimate for vine growing and wine making; and thermal springs make possible the cultivation of early (first-fruit) vegetables of outstanding quality. Thanks to its climatic and soil conditions, Hungary is a country of varied and delightful flavours. Hungary produces more food than its own population can consume. As much as one-third of the output of the Hungarian food industry is sold on external markets and has been for a number of decades. All in all, the Hungarian food industry is a great national asset. For a long time, Hungary has been thought of as “the food basket of Europe”. This reputation was acquired not only as a result of its environmental conditions, but also on the basis of a production culture and general ‘love of the land’ which go back centuries. Life- giving sunshine and abundant precipitation account for the characteristic flavour and unique aroma of Hungarian vegetables, fruit and wines. Dishes prepared from animals and types of meat that are of the modern age but which are reared by traditional methods provide a feast fit for a king. But in order to bring such food to our dinner tables, a host of highly skilled specialists must make their contribution to ensure the best results during processing. It is par tly thanks to them that such products as PICK salami, Tokaj wine, Zwack Unicum and other specialities mentioned in this publication have become familiar and sought- after products all over the world. However, tradition and production culture, fine growing- area characteristics and climatic conditions, and a product range which is unique to Hungary are no longer enough to ensure significant and sustainable market success. The very highest - and consistently improving - quality must also be maintained, and all European Union standards must be met.

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Hungarian Fresh Produce for Your Health
Representative Hungarian vegetables include red peppers, green peppers and Mako onions. These products are well-known and sought- after in European markets because of their outstanding quality, flavour and aromatic qualities. This product range has been broadened in recent years by the increasingly popular Hungarian mushroom. Its biologically active qualities approximate to those of wild mushrooms, a characteristic which is ensured by its uniquely favourable growing conditions.

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White Peppers
Peppers which are to be eaten fresh is well-known not only in Hungarian but also in European markets. ‘Szentes paprika’ is a special variety of white peppers, and is the basic ingredient of stuffed peppers, a truly Hungarian speciality. Peppers growing in and around Szentes has traditions going back centuries: this area has the highest number of hours of sunshine in Hungary and very favourable soil conditions. In addition to its excellent taste and aroma this typically Hungarian product has a remarkably high Vitamin-C content It is also easily digestible because of its thin outer skin.

Vegetables
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Red Paprika
As far back as the nineteenth century it was noted that the life expectancy of the population around Kalocsa and Szeged was generally higher than the national average. One of the reasons for this, it is supposed, was their high level of paprika consumption. In fact, these two regions are Hungary ’s paprika growing centres, and rightly so, because they have the highest number of hours of sunshine, the most impor tant factor in growing quality paprika, apar t from specialist exper tise. Hungarian paprika owes its world-wide reputation to its colour and aromatic qualities. In addition to environmental conditions, high standards of varietal development, and of growing and processing technology also contribute greatly to the cultivation of outstanding quality paprika. The growing of Hungarian spice paprika benefits from a successful combination of the personal care lavished on the product by small farmers and the efficiency of large-scale processing methods, supplemented by comprehensive

quality assurance. K alocsa-Szeged paprika is more than a spice: it is also a homeopathic medicine and even something to be enjoyed for its own sake. It is one of the fundamental flavours in Hungarian cooking, and it is by no means always hot, as many people new to Hungarian cuisine tend lo think.

Vegetables
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The Makó Onion
Onion cultivation in Makó looks back on a history of 250 years, which makes it one of the oldest Hungarian hor ticultural regions. The Makó onion won a gold medal at the Munich World Exhibition in 1883 and since then it has become increasingly well-known on European markets. The soils of the Makó growing area were formed primarily by the alluvial deposits of the Maros river : in combination with the prevailing favourable climatic conditions this accounts for their optimum assimilation and high dry matter content. A near spherical shape, bronze red multiple covering layers, ivory white hard flesh, a high dry matter content and its diverse uses characterise the Makó onion. A unique flavour which must be savoured combines with a higher bioactive curative and health preservation content than any other onion variety.

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FRUITS

Fruit growing in Hungary has been exper tly practised for centuries. Tasty, aromatic Hungarian fruit is well-known all over Europe.

and in its river valleys. Hungary ’s fruit output of almost one million tonnes is outstanding in Central Europe, in terms of quantity, apples are dominant, while Hungarian sour cherry, cherry, apricot and walnut growing are distinguished by their outstanding quality and the large number of newly developed varieties. The biological base of fruit growing consists of propagation materials from virus-free core plantations under state supervision.

Hungary

enjoys

outstandingly

good conditions for fruit growing. The continental-type climate, the high number of hours of sunshine and favourable soil conditions are equally suitable for growing apples stonefruits and berryfruits. Hungary ’s fruit growing areas are situated on the slopes of its hills, on its plains

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Apricots
Apricot growing has a long history in Hungary: the Carpathian Basin is the ter tiary gene centre for this fruit. Islands of apricot cultivation have been created since the seventeenth century on the basis of the systematic propagation of individual varieties. In the nineteenth century, the apricot became the dominant fruit variety in some growing areas. The apricot cultivated around Kecskemét has managed to conquer expor t markets due to the many uses to which it can be put and its characteristic flavour and aromatic qualities. Apricot pálinka (also known as ‘fütyülős’ or ‘whistling’ pálinka because of its ability to make the unwary imbiber catch his breath) has also become a much sought- after Hungarian product and is notable also for the distinctive design of its bottles.

Vegetables
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Hungarian Apples
Under the extremely favourable climatic conditions which prevail in Hungary it is possible to cultivate apples which are unparalleled in both flavour and aroma. In addition to the already legendary Jonathan and Starking varieties, more and more Idared, Jonagold and Mutsu apples - with their excellent internal characteristics - are coming onto the market. Producers who supply their consumers with both fresh apples and processed apple products have for some time been able to terms - because of its great success benefit from good and continuously in utilising the Jonathan variety as improving conditions. The careful the basic material, not to mention its use of environmentally friendly judicious employment of the most uptechnologies on an ever-increasing to- date machinery and equipment. scale ensures produce which is The outstanding in every respect. responsible for the unparalleled Hungary is the world’s leading aromatic qualities and harmonious producer of apple concentrate flavour of the concentrate and the also in straightforward quantitative fruit juice which is made from it. Jonathan apple variety is

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Naturalness–Preserved Fruit Preserves and Jams
The Hungarian preserves industry is now one hundred years of age. It was precisely at that time that fruit preservation outgrew its origins in the household. The evolution of production to its present industrial scale represents a milestone for the Hungarian preserves industry, its topography and climate make Hungary especially well suited to be a fruit growing base for the preserves industry. Seasonal fruits - from strawberries to apples - provide the highest quality raw materials for the manufacturing of high-fruit- content jams and preserves made from a wide range of fruit varieties. The colour, flavour and aroma of jar-sealed Hungarian fruits are able to reach even the most distant continents thanks to the use of the most up-todate technology in the manufacture of quality products.

Vegetables
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Tomato Puré
Vine and fruit growing hills and plains, hor ticulture and industrial culture, meet in the river valley where the town of Hatvan is located. This is where, in 1934, the Hatvany family registered the Gold Pheasant brand name for their tomato pure. Tomatoes, the most famous product of the region, are par ticularly suitable to be processed into pure because of g y their high drymatter content. The raw al material of the distinctive Hungarian tomato pure is grown under controlled conditions, thus assuring the high quality of the final product with its characteristic flavour and aroma. The Gold Pheasant brand of tomato pure, one of Hungary ’s major expor t products, has acquired a significant international reputation over the years.

Vegetables
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Pickles
The total annual hor ticultural output of Hungary exceeds 1.5 million tonnes. Production on this scale leaves a significant amount of food to be processed in addition to what is sold in the form of fresh produce. The Hungarian food basket ’ had achieved the status of a legend already in the distant historical past. The conditions necessary for industrial processing were all put into place - in addition to the technical (technological) background - by means of continuous control of the manufacturing process and the diffusion of methods which did little to damage the food in the course of processing. The reliable food manufacturing methods, which are in use today, allow the fullest preservation of the natural ingredients of the vegetables which serve as the raw materials for pickling. The popularity of this manufacturing regime is readily confirmed by the healthy expor t figures of the Hungarian preserves industry.

Vegetables
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Quick-frozen products
The Hungarian refrigeration which its products are processed in order to make them ever more attractive to the consumer. Par ticular specialities are a range of quickfrozen pasta products, such as plum dumplings, jam pockets, noodles and gnocchi, which are all typical Hungarian dishes. industry, which has a history of 50 years, processes the highest quality raw materials (rich in minerals and vitamins, with distinctive flavour and aromatic qualities, natural

colour and higher than average drymatter content), using the most upto- date technology. Among fruits, raspberries are highly sought after in the quick-frozen market for their excellent aroma and high enjoyment value, as are blackberries, sour cherries and blackcurrants. Among vegetables, the varieties most in demand are green peas, green beans, sweetcorn, broccoli, onions, peppers, cauliflowers, carrots and various blends of mixed vegetables. In accordance with the requirements of the European market, the Hungarian refrigeration industry is constantly seeking to increase the degree to

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Honey
Apiculture in Hungary goes back a thousand years; indeed, back to the very time of the Hungarians’ conquest and settlement the socalled global expansion of the use of chemical fer tilisers and pesticides in agriculture, the value of Hungarian Acacia honey has greatly increased, because the country ’s acacia forests do not require plant protection. Acacia Honey comes under the category of bio- and other natural products. It is for this reason that Acacia forests which provide of high honey yields have come to form the basis of Hungarian apiculture. Apar t from its acacia forests, Hungary also has other major bee pastures. As far as different varieties of honey are concerned, there is considerable demand for, for instance, the Limetree and chestnut honey varieties. Hungary ’s special combination of favourable climate and flora, and the exper tise of Hungarian beekeepers guarantees excellent honey and apicultural products.

“Honfoglalás” - of their homeland. In 1797, in what was in fact the first independent European agricultural institute of higher education, the Hungarian ‘Georgikon’, apiculture became par t of the curriculum. Hungary ’s prevalent environmental conditions are very favourable for apiculture and honey production. Fur thermore, as a result of the

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Poultry Meat
Athough Hungary ’s valuable it is possible to preserve much richer flavours than tend to be encountered elsewhere. Whilst attempting to catch up with the advanced industrialised countries, Hungary did not risk putting her natural endowments in jeopardy. At the present day, Hungary enjoys extremely favourable territorial and environmental conditions as compared with Western population and livestock densities, so making traditions in poultry production have been carefully preserved, an internationally recognised food

sector was created principally on the basis of the large-scale development of its processing industry. Such longstanding Hungarian expor t products as goose liver and other brandname ar ticles are still extremely popular all over the world. One of the main reasons for this is

possible the formation rearing of alter native on the

that sunshine and the special effects of the Hungarian soil and general environment are able to exercise a significant influence on poultry meat - directly or indirectly - by means of animal feed, even in the case of products manufactured using the most modern technological production lines, as a result of which

regimes

widest scale. Hungarian research has made a number of significant contributions in the areas of goose and duck breeding, especially the former. As a result of such significant advances, the quality and reliability of Hungarian poultry products are continuously improving.

Meats
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Pick Salami
When Mar ton Pick founded his salami factory in 1869 he could have had little idea that, at the end of the twentieth century, Pick Salami with its unique flavour would still be manufactured using his original recipe, which has remained a and spice combination. This is the secret of the special aroma of Pick salami, in order to produce this unique combination of flavours, the constantly cool air wafting from the Tisza river, (which is located in the neighbourhood of the Pick factory,) and the favourable microclimate of the Szeged area, which does a great deal to facilitate the maturation process, are essential; in addition to the requisite exper tise and tradition. The technology used in these processes has been perfected over the years and safe manufacturing in air- conditioned maturation chambers with traditional care ensures maintenance of the highest quality.

secret since the very beginning. The maturing of the salami is carried out by means of the traditional method even today, using the original meat

(Herz Salami is produced by similar technology and traditional methods)

Meats
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Gyulai Kolbász (Sausage)

Gyulai kolbasz is named after the Hungarian town of Gyula. This is a mediumdegree spicy sausage which is traditionally made from pork, ‘szalonna’ (Hungarian bacon fat) and beef. The mixture is forced into the small intestine of a pig and smoked. Its origins may be dated somewhere around the beginning of the 1900s. At this time it was manufactured by a number of small factories. In 1935, the product was awarded the gold diploma at the World Exhibition of Food in Brussels. Gyulai kolbász has maintained its great popularity to the present day, largely due to its delicate flavouring. Its dominant flavours are aromatic Hungarian red paprika, pepper, garlic and caraway, complemented by the savoury effects of traditional smoking. The strict utilisation of special technology guarantees that the product may be kept for a long time.

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Game
Its wide range of exceptional natural endowments make Hungary deservedly popular among hunters . Its forests and meadows, rich in both small and large game, have frequently fulfilled hunters’ dreams. As a result of its management, Hungarian game meats have come ranted: because of the country ’s continental climate Hungray ’s game are resistant to diseases, are strongly built and have savoury flesh. Game meat contains impor tant minerals

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Ewe’s cheese
In Hungary there are a number of cheese factories which specialise in processing ewe’s milk. Their operation go back a number of decades, ensuring that specialised tasks are handled by exper ts with extensive production experiance. Ewes are carefully reared in natural surroundings. The same reproduction and feeding techniques are consistently adhered to , with, the result that the quality of the raw material from wich the cheese is made continiously maintained. Not only have ewe’s-milk-based products been manufactured for many years, their expor t has a history going back a number of decades. The special qualities of this cheese come from the high enjoyment value of individual varieties. The flavour of such cheese has the distinct, of ewe’s milk.

Cheese
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Tokaj Wine
The Tokaj wine has a special pecial ecial s. status among noble wines.. The avour a formation of its unique flavour by may be explained largely by the riieties fact that the grape varieties of Tokaj-Hegyalja rm mint, -Furmint, soca socall socalled “aszú” berries. The wine made in this way are es wines a tar t and rich in flavour. The wine is aged in deep cellars, e i carve ed carved into the rock as much 6 60 as 600-700 years old, and main nta maintaining a temperature of 10-1 2 °C. Humidity is kept at 10-12 aro u 79-98 per cent due to around th he the Cladosporium cellare, w which grows on the walls. The wine is barrel- aged in small wooden casks (136-220 litres in

Lunel Hárslevelű and Muscat de L s. are late ripening varieties. The ob ber. harvest begins in late October. de er The grapes over-ripen under the influence of a special microclimate. Autumn rain and dawn fog cause Botrytis cinerea, (noble rot) to get at to “bor trytise” - the grapes. hours The that sunny follow sugar and of the the

volume) and acquires the distinctive Tokaj colour, flavour, scent and aroma over a number of years.

facilitate formation shrivelling

Hungarian Wines
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Bull’s Blood of Eger
In the cellars of Eger, one of Hungary ’s most attractive towns, surrounded by many sunny slopes, the world-famous, hear t-warming, ruby-red Bull’s Blood has been matured for centuries. This wine, made from grapes grown in the Eger wine region, owes its distinctive flavour and aroma to special climatic conditions and a growing area based on volcanic soil, its distinctive character results from the blending of several grape varieties, combining, for instance, the fullbodiedness of the Kékfrankos, the spiciness of the Cabernet Sauvignon, and the velvetiness of the Merlot. The harmony between the various wine components is achieved during sks ageing in oak casks in wine cellars carved into the famous Eger tuff, it is rightly said that: The Bull’s Blood of Eger stands w among its fellow red wines like a deeply glowing, bloodcoloured ruby in the centre dorned of a coronet adorned with brilliant gems.

Hungarian Wines
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Prize-winning Hungarian Wines
silver medals out of the 46 sor ts of wines entered. This even exceeded the 30% specified by OIV as the limit on medals issued. Competition was not easy, our high quality wines had to take par t in trials against a large range of red wines of outstanding quality. Our white wines featured more prominently and the aromatic style of Hungarian wines, made with modern reductive technology, figured especially well. With the exception of one wine, all the Tokaji aszú wines entered in the competition There has never before been so many wines competing at a world competition, was the announcement at the opening ceremony, by the organisers of the 1999 Bruxelles Competition. A total of 2,425 wines were entered from 32 countries. Hungary obtained 3 gold and 13 won a medal. This reflects how highly these specialized wines are appreciated. The organisers of the competition applauded the success of the Hungarian wines, adding’they always pass the test at the world competition of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles’

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Mineral water
Mineral water rising to the sur face from a great depth has been a familiar Hungarian treasure for

centuries. The thermal springs of Pannonia were popular already

among the Romans who used them both to cure illnesses and to quench their thirst. The reputation of

Hungarian mineral and spa waters had travelled round the world by the early twentieth century, and today they continue to be rated among the best waters in Europe for their rich mineral content and pleasant, mild taste. One of the consequences of the unique geological position of the Carpathian Basin is that most of Hungary ’s mineral waters come from thermal springs. For instance, the temperature of the mineral water at Margit Island in Budapest is nearly 70 °C. Hungary ’s mineral waters are bottled using the most modern equipment, and enriched with or without carbon- dioxide. Pleasant tasting and naturally clear bottled mineral waters are guaranteed to constitute a special experience for the consumer.

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Fruit Pálinka
How good is Hungarian pálinka? r Edward VIII, heir to the English throne, answered this question when visiting 5 Hungary in 1935 as follows: The apricot kemét. pálinka of Kecskemét. drunk with soda is better than whisky, and with tea m.’ better than rum.’ The fruit, whose delicious and distinctive floral t scent, and light spicy bouquet are transmitted to fruit-specific noble spirits, is grown on exper tly tended fruit trees. After resting and ageing mes the spirit becomes smoother, airy nd and rounded, and its flavours and niously aroma harmoniously integrated. onderful This is how wonderful Hungarian fruit is turned into fruit-specific fruit-brandy which inimitably

riginal resembles the original fruit.

Spirits
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Zwack Unicum
“Das ist ein UNIKUM”. These were the words of K aiser Joseph II after he had ink tasted the drink for the first time ck to the Zwack ancestor who, while cour t physician, inventaordinary ed this extraordinary drink in tatement 1790. This statement gave the sent drink its present name, which s perhaps says all that needs to t be said about it. Unicum, one of opular the most popular Hungarian s, spirit brands, has for over 200 years repreantees all of this. And what is Unicum? Its exact composition cannot be revealed b because the recipe is a secret... What may be disclosed, however, is that howe Unicum is a skilfu blend of skilful more than 40 carefu selected carefully herbs and spices. The lengthy ageing process which takes w place over 6 mon months in oak casks gives Unicum its inimibitter-sw table bitter-sweet flavour and exot bouquet. exotic Unic Unicum makes a pe per fect aperit tif or desser t drink due

ium sented premium quality, characteristic aroa

ma, unique presentation and

to its beneficial and s soothing effec fect on the

Hungarian tradition. The

stom stomach.

k name Zwack guar-

Spirits
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Brandied Cherries
Brandied cherries are a traditional Hungarian chocolate confectionery. Traditional brandied cherries are hand made to ensure premium quality and per fect harmony between the alcohol and the dark chocolate. The ripe sour (Morello) cherries together with their stones are aged in casks in a 72 per cent alcoholic solution. The casks must not be opened between July and November. During this period, the sour cherries are permeated by the alcohol and the contents of the casks will be an even 28-30 per cent proof. Ageing is followed by the removal ol the stones and the delicate ar t of shrivelling, after which the sour cherries, having been dipped into hot sour cherryflavoured fondant, placed on a chocolate base and dried. Finally, a delicate chocolate coating is added.

Vegetables
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Gastronomy
For a long time it was believed that the nomadic ancestors of the Hungarian people used to soften meat under the saddles of their horses. Now we know that this is not true. Raw meat kept under the saddle served to soothe wounds to the horses’ backs caused by long riding. As in France and elsewhere, gastronomy is a major par t of Hungarian culture. The reason for the failure of Hungarian cuisine to gain international recognition before the last few decades is simply that, earlier on, specialists were lacking who could under take the systematisation of its many different aspects. Hungary is known all over the world for its delicious dishes and aromatic drinks. Some 30 million tourists visit Hungary every year, and enjoy the hospitality of the Hungarian people. O ver the centuries, although Hungary ’s gastronomic ways have been influenced by

the cuisines of other nations, its originality and traditions have

always been maintained. Hungarian cuisine has the added advantage of being founded on a fully modernised agricultural and food industry

base, Foreign visitors are primarily interested in classic Hungarian

flavours, specialities and desser ts which may not be found anywhere else.

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Hungarian Fish Soup
A good fish soup is usually made from different types of fish. Take two finely chopped onions, toss them in a little oil until opaque, sprinkle with red paprika and add salt to taste. Add 250-300 grams of white fish - for example, carp or silure - per person and cook until tender, then press through a sieve. After adding a little water put in the fish steaks, together with green pepper and tomatoes, and cook slowly until ready. Best served with dry red wine.

Gastronomy
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Hungarian Beef Stew
Take 600 grams of beef and cut it into 2 centimetre cubes. Finely chop a medium sized onion and toss in a little oil until opaque. Sprinkle with a teaspoonful of red paprika, making sure that the paprika is not burned, and immediately add the meat. Keep stirring for a few minutes until the meat is sealed on each side. Sprinkle with salt and add enough water to cover the meat and cook slowly, l or 2 green pepper and tomatoes may also be added. Make sure the water does not boil away. The stock should be neither too thin, nor too thick. Serve in a deep bowl, garnish with round slices of hot green pepper.

Gastronomy
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Agrarmarketing Centrum H-1042 Budapest, Árpád út 51-53. P.O.B. : H-1325 Budapest, Pf. 340. Tel.: (+36-1) 450-8800, Fax: (+36-1) 450-8801 E-mail: info@amc.hu • Internet: www.amc.hu • Free Copy •

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