Everyone has a favourite meal of the day – some people love a big brekkie while others are die-hard dinner diners. Whichever you look forward to the most, Hungary has got the hungry traveller covered. Read on and find out how you can get your three squares a day (plus snacks!) just like a Hungarian local.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
That’s right, I’m talking about breakfast. Hungarians tend towards large spreads of filling foods that can be either savoury or sweet, including pastries (like the traditional chocolate kakaós csiga), cheeses, breads, sandwiches, jams, cold meats and more. However, in larger cities such as Budapest, picking up something quick to munch on-the-go has become more and more popular with commuters.
A Luxurious Lunch
When they have the time for it, Hungarians love a long, relaxed three-course lunch, and many restaurants reflect this tradition by offering a discounted set meal. The appetiser is usually a fruit-based soup – a sour-cherry-flavoured version called gyümölcsleves is a firm favourite. The main is likely to consist mostly of meat, such as a deep fried chicken dish called rántott csirke (vegetarianism is on the rise, but Hungary is still predominately a meat-centric country). The midday meal is finished off with a scrumptious dessert.
Time for Tea
The evening meal is of less importance than breakfast or lunch and usually consists of leftovers from earlier that day. It is a lighter affair that often consists of cold meats, bread and cheese. However, there are times when Hungarians will indulge in three courses (such as a family reunion or other special occasion). Popular dinner dishes include stuffed peppers and a vegetable stew called lecsó. It’s also a common practice to take a shot of pálinka (fruit brandy) before and after you eat.
Snacks on Snacks
To stay satiated in between proper meals, Hungarians will snack on the following:
- Lángos – fried dough smothered in cheese and sour cream.
- Pogácsa – bread that’s been stuffed with various savoury fillings and then fire baked.
- Uzsonna – a light snack to nibble on if you get hungry before dinner, usually a sandwich, pastry or cake.
- Palacsinta – stuffed crepes, both savoury and sweet.
Next time you’re hungry, head to Hungary and get a taste of all it has to offer – from breakfast breads to stuffed-pepper suppers, your taste buds are in for a real treat.