Maybe one of my favorite things to do in a new city or new country is to discover the local cuisine and the local delicacies. And yes, you can do those by yourself or you can follow a foodtour, which I totally love doing. And I usually find it a really good way to get an idea or a starting point from which to explore further on your own. First of all you get to places you might not have otherwise found or you can eat or drink things you would never have tried if they hadn’t suggested it.. 😉 I might not have tasted Unicum if it wasn’t for the tour!
I can’t even remember how I got the address for Taste Hungary but it was one of the first things I booked. The groups are small and we had a group of 3 people in total. That makes is easy and very personal. Our guide was Elsa, an enthusiastic young girl who started by telling us a bit about the history of Hungary in our meeting point location which was the Central Markethall in Budapest.
Tom and I were on time so we had already walked around the market for a bit but Elsa took us upstairs for a glass of Unicum, which is like a herbal drink but a lot more bitter than we are used to. Did I like it? Well not exactly no, but hey it is apparently typically hungarian, cause we kept running into it. From the Unicum we went to the langos, which I liked a whole lot better. Langos is a populair fastfood item in Hungary and is in essence a piece of fried bread, rubbed with garlic oil and covered with sour cream and cheese. At least that is the traditional way to serve it, but these days you can find toppings of any kind. Making it essentially the Hungarian pizza.
Pickling everything seems to be a passtime as well in Hungary. Or it is something that people do who have to much time on their hands, judging by all the faces and shapes they make out of the pickled veggies.. 🙂 We tasted a baby watermelon that was pickled… Never would have guessed this tiny thing was a watermelon.
Underneath the Central Market hall is the pickling area and the fish market and apparently carp is a populair fish to eat in Hungary as most of the stalls had a large tank with swimming carp in it. Not the most animal friendly way of keeping the fish, as they were overfilled. The fish were mostly damaged and some dead one were floating around as well. I can guess it stays fresh longer this way but still not the best way to treat fish.
From the Central Market we went further into town to have lunch at Belvárosi Diznótoros, which was a butcher from origin but is now a populair lunchspot to have traditional Hungarian food: lots of sausages, pickled things, bread and cabbage. Delicious and filling!
After lunch we had dessert at Augustz, a so called cukrászda, which is in essence a pastry shop, with delicious cakes and other sweet delicacies. The best pastry shop in town tough is Gerbeaud which we went to as well. but more on that later. Augustz is for sure less massive and busy as Gerbeaud, so definitely a better place if you want some quiet.
We also visited a little candy store called Cukorka which is a kind of pappa bubble (which you can find in Amsterdam) but than located in Budapest, but maybe the most remarkable where the wooden tools leading up to the store. Something you don’t find often!
We ended our tour with a winetasting at the Tasting Table, where was enjoyed three delicious wines from Hungarian origin. We started with a white Barat, followed by a red wine from Vida and to finish with a Tokaji, where the region is most famous for. All of this accompanied with good Hungarian cheese, bread, pumpkinseed oil and ok, a glass of water too! 🙂
With full stomachs we left the wine cellar at around 2.30 pm, back into the sunshine. All in all this is a really great tour to take and certainly a fun thing to do if you’re going to Budapest and want to have a taste of the culinary delights they have to offer. Taste Hungary has various food tours. We did the walking tour, but they have market tours, vineyard tours, winetastings and much more so have a look at the website if you’re planning on going to Budapest.