Hungaricums are high value products of Hungary, which show Hungarian uniqueness, specialty and quality, they embody the top performance of the Hungarian people. When visiting Hungary Hungarian gastronomy is a must as we pride ourselves in producing the King of Wines and The Wine of King (Tokaji), dishes like goulash or fish soup not necessarily served on Herend porcelains but definitely with a small aperitif of pálinka to be followed by Somlói Galuska or Dobos cake as dessert. Somehow Hungaricums are not exclusively based on gastronomy, creativity can be celebrated in brand names like Rubik and his Magic Cube or Zsolnay ceramics.
Described by Louis XIV of France as “the king of wines, and the wine of kings”, Aszú is even referred to in the Hungarian national anthem. It is one of the world’s finest dessert wines. Aszú is made with grapes that have succumbed to the botrytis cinerea fungus, otherwise known as noble rot. If conditions are right, the botrytis mould causes sweet grapes to dry out and shrivel. The resulting Aszú berries have a very high concentration of sugar and rich flavours.
Bull’s Blood (Bikavér)
The Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) blend, exclusive to the Eger and Szekszárd regions, is the best-known of all Hungarian wines. Legend has it that the name originates from the unsuccessful siege of Eger by the Turks in 1552, when the heavily outnumbered Hungarians had nothing to drink but red wine. This proved to be an advantage for them: their red-stained beards and wild eyes terrified the Turks, who thought they had been drinking Bull’s Blood.
Pálinka is a generic name for the fiery fruit brandy often distilled by farmers from home-grown plums, apricots and pears. Hungary’s most famous pálinka distilleries can be found in Kecskemét.
According to legend, Unicum was initially presented to Kaiser Joseph II of Austria, who proclaimed “Das ist ein Unikum!” (This is a specialty!) Today the liqueur, aged in oak casks, is produced by the Zwack Company according to a secret formula including more than 40 herbs.
PICK Winter Salami
The PICK factory in Szeged has been producing this famous and popular salami brand for about 140 years, using a secret recipe. Made from pork and spices, winter salami is cured in cold air and is slowly smoked. During the dry ripening process, a special noble-mould is formed on the surface of the product.
The town of Makó, situated in South-eastern Hungary, is famous for its onion, which is an important ingredient of traditional Hungarian cuisine.
Zsolnay is a world famous brand name thanks to innovations by Vilmos Zsolnay, who developed the eosin glaze.
Porcelain of Herend
Herend offers luxury hand painted and gilded porcelain. Now among the biggest porcelain manufactories in Europe, the Herend Porcelain manufactory was founded in 1826 in the small Hungarian village of Herend near the town of Veszprém. Herend Porcelain was soon to follow. In 1855, the international exhibition in Paris, the Exposition Universelle brought the highest appreciation for Herend, which resulted in orders on behalf of several European royal courts, among them Queen Victoria and Francis Joseph I.
Paprika is one of the most widely used ingredients of Hungarian cuisine. Due to the favourable climate and geographical conditions, Hungarian paprika has a bright red colour and a distinctively rich flavour. Kalocsa and Szeged in the southern part of Hungary are the heart of paprika production.
The world famous Rubik's Cube is a mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 by Rubik Ernő.
Csárdás is a traditional Hungarian folk dance with its origins dating back to the 18th century. The dance usually starts slowly, to be followed by a gradual increase of tempo, and it climaxes in a rapid and energetic ending. The dancers, both male and female, are dressed in traditional colourful clothes with the women wearing wide skirts, which form a distinctive shape when they whirl throughout the dance.
Gulyás is a stew prepared of beef, Hungarian gnocchi noodles, potato and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originally it was made by the shepherds of the Hungarian plains, who needed some rich and filling food to help them through hard days. The dish is now considered one of Hungary’s national dishes.
Somlói Galuska is a popular Hungarian dessert, which resembles a chocolate sponge cake, covered with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Dobostorta (Dobos Cake) is a layered sponge cake filled with chocolate butter cream, topped with a thin caramel glaze. The sides of the cake are sometimes coated with ground hazelnuts.
Túró Rudi is a chocolate bar filled with sweet lemony cottage cheese. The specialty has been popular in Hungary since the 1960s.
It is an annual festival in Mohács, located in Southern Hungary. These festivities are held in late February to mark the end of winter. The event begins the Friday before Ash Wednesday and lasts for six days. The carnival ends on Tuesday, when “winter’s coffin” is burned at the main square, which symbolizes the “burning” of winter and giving a welcome to spring. Then the villagers and visitors dance until dawn. The festival is named ‘busó’ in acknowledgement of the awesome-looking costumed men wearing wooden masks and large sheepskin coats. According to legend, the roots of the festival date back to the Battle of Mohács in 1526, when villagers dressed up as fearsome monsters to frighten away the occupying Turkish forces.