Hungarian cooking is actually quite difficult to define. It frequently uses paprika, black pepper and onion. Potatoes are also commonly used in many types of meal. There are two remarkable elements of Hungarian cuisine that locals take no or little notice of but which seem quite unusual to foreigners. One is known as “főzelék” (various vegetables prepared in a special way, served cooked and bearing some similarity to a very thick soup) and the other one is soup itself prepared in different kinds of ways. Hungarian cuisine offers a bunch of soups from vegetables or meats or both. These soups come in creamy types, as fresh fruit soups and also as heavy meat soups. In Hungary, a typical breakfast may consist of fresh bread, cold sausage type minced meat products (such as kolbász or szalámi), some vegetables or jam. Lunch is the major meal of the day, usually consisting of three courses: soup is followed by a main dish and a dessert. What is locally referred to as ‘salad’ is absolutely different from your notion of salad in that it usually means pickled vegetables eaten along with the main course (in Hungarian these are called “savanyúság”). Green salad is not part of the traditional Hungarian cuisine. Normally, dinner is far less significant a meal than lunch. It is a bit like breakfast, consisting mainly of a cold meal.
And if you feel like having a drink after a good meal, taste one of the fine Hungarian wines. Hungary has 22 wine regions, and the most well-known among foreigners are the Tokaj, Villány, Balaton Highland and Eger regions, but it is also worth visiting other regions for their local special wines. Typical wine types of the country are kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch), olaszrizling (Welsh Riesling), zöldveltelini, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. Hungarians like drinking fröccs especially in summer, which is white or rosé wine mixed with fresh soda water, also known as wine spitzer. If you like short drinks, you should not miss the famous Unicum and pálinka, either.
gulyásleves (goulash soup), húsleves (meat soup), halászlé (fish soup), hideg meggyleves (cold sour cherry soup), Jókai bableves (bean soup Jókai style), Hortobágyi palacsinta (pancake filled with meat), túrós csusza (pasta with cottage cheese), töltött káposzta (stuffed cabbage), pörkölt (stew made of different kinds of meat), lecsó (stewed onions, tomatoes and peppers), paprikás krumpli (potatoes with paprika), mákos guba (dumplings with poppy seed), szilvás gombóc (dumplings filled with plum), Dobos torta (chocolate cake with a special caramel top on it), rétes (strudel), szaloncukor (special Christmas sweet), bejgli (Christmas cake filled a with walnut or poppy seed filling), túró rudi (sweet curd bar coated with chocolate), lángos (Hungarian fried bread), pogácsa (small savoury biscuits) and the list is endless in fact.