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“Happy as jam!” — the end of summer is the right time to make traditional, Hungarian preserves

Long before today’s organic, bio and artisanal fads, the average Hungarian housewife made artisanal-organic-bio preserves, unaware of the fact that her simple, natural products would one day be considered so prestigious.

The end of summer is the main BEFŐZÉSI SZEZON (the season to make preserves), because prices are low, and fruits and vegetables are properly ripened.

The […]

By |August 25th, 2016|Cultural Trivia, Hungarian Food|0 Comments

To celebrate Saint Stephen’s Day, here’s 1000 years of Hungarian Happenings in a handy infographic

“No history, please!” – begged a lovely visitor from a faraway country.

True, she escaped from a guided “umbrella” tour where in most cases you are bombarded with dates and unpronounceable names of local heroes, not to mention Hungary’s long list of battles.

It poses a real challenge for a tour guide, however, to explain why those […]

By |August 18th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

The Budapest Animal Garden

No, no, this photo is not from India, it’s a decorative piece of the Elephant House in the Budapest Zoo, called ÁLLATKERT (lit. ÁLLAT=animal KERT=garden) in Hungarian. The Budapesti Állatkert is worthy of the name garden. As fans of the Budapest Zoo claim, it’s like a five-star hotel for the animals who live in Art […]

By |August 14th, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

Summer joys of Budapest, the ‘strand’

The city hides a lot of retreats from summer heat. Palatinus Strand on peaceful Margaret Island is one of the most enjoyable ones. One of the oldest of its kind, it opened in 1919 during the short-lived Communist regime of Béla Kun. Since 2013 it was extended by two thermal pools and thus it’s a […]

By |August 8th, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

Bubbly Water, another Hungarian invention

When you have FRÖCCS (Wine Spritzer) next time, make sure it’s made with SZÓDAVÍZ (carbonated water) and not plastic bottled SZÉNSAVAS ÁSVÁNYVÍZ (carbonated mineral water). While SZÓDAVÍZ, chilled and fresh, brings out the best in wine and makes it a light summer drink, the minerals in the latter spoil the inherent properties of wine.

The invention […]

By |August 3rd, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

CORVIN

Place names in Budapest may confuse not only foreigners but locals as well, just take CORVIN: We have CORVIN KÖZ (crescent) including CORVIN MOZI (cinema) and CORVIN PLAZA at the CORVIN NEGYED (quarter) metro station, CORVIN TÉR (square) in Buda near Fő utca and CORVIN ÁRUHÁZ (Department Store) in Blaha Lujza tér, not to mention […]

By |July 23rd, 2016|Cultural Trivia|0 Comments

Matthias, the Just

The King-in-Disguise
The personage of the fifteenth century King Matthias (Mátyás in Hungarian, Matei Corvin for Romanians) has been a bone of contention between Hungarians and Romanians for ages. Gheorghe Funar, the Hungarian bashing Romanian mayor of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) in the 1990s, took the claim of Romanian history textbooks that Mátyás was of Romanian origin literally, […]

By |July 22nd, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

CUCUMBER SEASON

This is the season of KOVÁSZOS UBORKA (fermented dill pickles), a real pearl of Hungarian diet. Keep some chilled in the fridge all summer, fermented cucumbers are a healthy, probiotic and enzyme rich, moreover, the best thing to cure hangover. It’s the ideal side dish to go with veal stew or any other meat […]

By |July 14th, 2016|Hungarian Food|0 Comments

EVERYBODY IS HUNGARIAN

Take it with a pinch of salt. George Mikes, Hungarian-born English writer’s bon mot to satirize Hungarians’ obsession to brag with being Hungarian sounds like this in its full context:
”Everybody is Hungarian, and if he isn’t, then his father or his grandmother was.”

Mikes – who made fame as a popular English writer by […]

By |July 8th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Albert Szent-Györgyi

 The genius behind the discovery of vitamin C
I like eating lecsó (letscho), and I love making it. It’s in season from June to September, making it the Hungarian summer staple food. The quintessence of this vegetable stew is sweet peppers in all shapes and colours mixed with onions, tomatoes, and paprika-spiced sausage.

Hungarians are crazy about […]

By |June 24th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments