Culinary Anthropologist

hungary

  1. Mostly flat

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    We finally said goodbye to Poland (we’ll have to go back one day, there’s so much more to see) and drove south through Slovakia to Hungary.  As we were a bit behind schedule we rushed through Slovakia in a day, admiring the snowy Tatras mountains and warming ourselves up in hot springs (and some of […]

  2. Going for gold

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    Today Barnaby set off to explore the cellars of Tokaj to find out just what makes the wine here so golden and yummy.  Having studied the works of the 16th century alchemist Paracelsus, who believed the wine contained actual gold, he thought he could come to a more scientific conclusion. Probably something to do with […]

  3. Wine of kings?

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    Louis XIV is said to have called the sweet wines of the Tokaj region of Hungary “the wine of kings, and king of wines”, and they’ve been used as diplomatic sweeteners at the highest levels for hundreds of years.  We went to find out what makes them so great, and discovered that they are still […]

  4. Plain to be seen

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    The puszta – the great plain – is very important to Hungarians.  It may not sound very interesting to outsiders: it’s the flattest part of the country, dotted with fairly shabby isolated farms, wells, marshland and perhaps not a great deal else.  But here it means more than that: it holds an important place in […]

  5. Hungarian folk evening

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    Tonight we spent the evening at Tuba Tanya, enjoying the fantastic local specialities of course, but also the Hungarian folk music and other folky activities.  The band (Tuba Rózsa) were fantastic: listen to that bass sound – it’s someone rubbing a wet cloth up & down a stick attached to a skin stretched over a […]

  6. Full of beans

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    Barnaby has been relieved to find that Hungarians love coffee as much as he does, and serve all manner of espresso-based drinks in very upmarket cafés.  Here in Eger he and Matt needed big lattes after all the wine tasting yesterday. Barnaby supposes that the Hungarian passion for coffee must stem in some way from […]

  7. Making goulash

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    Today Barnaby made real gulyásleves while staying in a little cottage in Csongrád.  Having researched what a genuine Hungarian goulash should be like, he altered Anna’s previous recipe by using a) a greater assortment of vegetables including carrot, potato, celeriac, parsley root, tomato and pepper, b) caraway and paprika, but not too much of either, […]

  8. Beer, wine and vowel harmony

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    The Hungarian language is fascinating, and nowhere is this better reflected (for me at least) than in the words for ‘bar’: a borozó is a wine bar, and a söröző is a beer bar.  At first sight, perhaps, you might not agree that these words are particularly fascinating. But you’d be wrong. And here’s why.

  9. Hungarian goulash

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    It has been brought to my attention that Spring has not yet arrived in the UK, so any fancy ideas I have for using the Bay Area’s new array of fruits and vegetables will largely fall on deaf ears over there for the next few weeks.  So, a hearty stew.  I keep making this in […]