Hngarian Food - Appetizers and Sauces (Elóételek és Mártások)
What is Liptauer Cheese?
Hungarian Food – Appetizers and Sauces (Elóételek és Mártások)
A Hungarian would sooner start his meal with a bowl of soup than with an appetizer or a salad. Nevertheless, there are a number of Hungarian menu items that could easily serve as appetizers. In addition, some of the finest restaurants in Budapest have created signature appetizers for their international clientele.
I have also chosen to include sauces in this hub because many of them are either used in the preparation of some of these appetizers or they are served with the appetizer.
For ease of presentation, I have divided the appetizers into five categories along with a sixth one for sauces. I have also decided to cover kiflik (crescent rolls) and pogácsák (biscuits) in the hub on péksütemények (baked goods), even though they could also be used as appetizers.
One last comment that I should make is that I have included only traditional Hungarian dishes. In the finest restaurants in Budapest today, you will find appetizers from all over the world most of which Hungarians have never even heard of. None of those are included here.
1. Cheese Appetizers - (Sajtos Elóételek )
a. Liptauer Cheese Spread – (Körözött júhtúró ) – a spread made from sheep’s milk cheese mixed with grated onion, paprika, mustard caraway seeds and anchovy paste.
b. Cheese Sticks - (Sajtos Rud)
c. Cheese Straws – (Sajtos Stangli)
2. Crepes - (Palacsinták)
a. Hortobagy Style - (Hortobagyi Palacsintak)
b. Bugac Style - (Bugaci Husos Palachintak)
3. Egg Appetizers - (Tojás Elóételek)
a. Stuffed Eggs Casino
b. Ham Stuffed eggs
c. Layered Eggs
d. Eggs a la Metternich
4. Fried Dough – (Lángos )
a. Krumpli Langos – Potato Langos
5. Ham and Mushroom Appetizers - (Sonkás és Gomba Elóételek)
a. Ham in a Winter Coat
b. Breaded Mushrooms
c. Mushrooms Orly Style
d. Stuffed Mushrooms
6. Sauces – (Mártások)
a. Dill Sauce
b. Green Sauce
d. Tartar Sauce
e. Tomato Sauce
f. Sour Cream and Horseradish
In conclusion let me tell you about the only opportunity I had to actually sample authentic Hungarian appetizers. In 1990, my friend and I spent two days in Budapest on our way to Munich, Germany to join an American Express tour. The tour was scheduled to include a trip to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau. Germany. This play is only presented every ten years and tickets are extremely difficult to obtain, which is why we booked an American Express tour. (They get their tickets ten years in advance). Thus, we were limited to two days in Hungary and therefore only two dinners.
The first night we went to Mátyás Pince vendéglö (King Matthias Cellar restaurant). This restaurant is famous for its Gypsy music and was the place were Sándor Lakatos played. It’s funny. I don’t remember what the main meal was, but the appetizer was a large tray of various salamis, ham, peppers, tomatoes and onions served with some good bread.
The second night we went to a more upscale restaurant, which also featured Gypsy music. The appetizer that we ordered was a slice of fois gras on some lettuce and the main entrée was roast duck. The entire meal for two with a bottle of wine and the tip came to about $30 American, but that was a long time ago.
In future hubs, I plan to provide recipes for each of the categories listed above.
How to Make Deviled Eggs
Langos - Hungarian Fried Bread
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Map of Hungary
George Lang’s Cuisine of Hungary
If you only plan to buy one cookbook this year and if you enjoyed my recipes on Hungarian food,
I highly recommend this cookbook. Owner of Café des Artistes in New York and the magnificent Gundel restaurant in Budapest, George Lang not only provides authentic recipes from the various regions of Hungary, he also provides historical information and anecdotes on their origin.
This is one of my very favorite cookbooks of all time.