Hungary is a European country located in the Carpathian Basin, and bordered by Austria, Croatia, Servia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. As you might expect, Hungarian cuisine shares made features with its neighbors, but it does also have some distinctive features.
Perhaps the most unusual feature of Hungarian cookery is its use of paprika. Many dishes are flavored with the spice including soups and stews. It is not entirely certain how paprika was introduced into Hungarian cuisine, but some people attribute it to the influence of the Ottoman Turks who invaded and occupied much of the country from 1526 to 1699.
The Hungarian dish which of course non-Hungarians are most familiar with is Goulash. Many non-Hungarians think of this as a stew, but in Hungary itself, where Goulash is known as “Gulyás" or “Gulyásleves", it would probably be accurate to describe the dish as a thick soup. It is prepared by browning chunks of meat, usually beef, on the bone (such as shoulder, shin or shank) in a pot with oil. Other ingredients added are onions, peppers, garlic, herbs (such as bay leaf, caraway and thyme), and finely chopped potatoes, and the dish is then simmered with water or stock. Sour cream, white wine or vinegar are also sometimes added at the end to complete the taste.
Apart from Goulash, there are of course many other interesting Hungarian dishes that you might want try. These include pörkölt which is a type of meat stew, and “halászlé" which is a soup made from freshwater fish, onions and tomatoes. Additionally, Hungarian cooks are well known for their desserts, so you are sure to want to try these too!
By S. Tanna. Discover more about Hungarian Cooking at http://www.downloadfocus.com/cat_recipes_hungarian.php