Tag Archives: hungary

World Cooking – Hungary

List Item: Cook something from every countryCountry: Hungary
Progress: 100/193

Here we are. I am officially in triple digits for this challenge and it just happened to coincide with my, now yearly, tradition of crossing off a cool country for my husband’s birthday meal. In the history of this little challenge, I have tried to not do neighbouring nations so close to one another. Given that this was my husband’s pick, I guess that this will have to be an exception seeing how my last country bar one was Austria.

Had 2020 not been the dumpster fire of a year it was, there was a high chance that Budapest would have been the destination of my recent annual visits to a European Christmas market. I mean, I’ve seen pictures of how beautiful they do up their capital and the idea of walking through that with a piping hot langos in my hand and trying to not think too hard about their recent political situation.

Alas, twas not to be and I wonder if my husband sensed my slight wish to have been there in December when making his pick. I mean, this is one of those countries that has the weird honour of being universally linked to a particular spice: paprika. When looking at what to make as a main, there was the obvious pick of goulash and then there was nearly everything else which involved paprika at some point. Would I make my own liptauer to top some open-faced sandwiches, or some delicious paprika chicken? I could have gone for some cold sour-cherry soup, but there really isn’t a place for me to find that.

Similarly, there was an obvious choice for a dessert – dobos torte. I loved it when I had it many years ago and, having recently seen it on an old episode of The Great British Bake Off, I had that fancy again. However, there are many other desserts to try and make in Hungarian cuisine – many of them with apricot jam, nuts or poppy seeds. So, I decided that I would go for one obvious dish and one that was less so. Plenty of paprika was spilled along the way.

Main: Goulash

Goulash may have been one of the first dishes that was locked in as a certainty when I started doing this challenge. It’s one of those things that is so iconic for Hungary and is a dish I always love when it is in front of me. There are a number of different recipes online, each one talking about different starches to have it with. You get some with potato in the goulash, others serve it with noodles or spätzle.

In the end, I went with a recipe by the Hairy Bikers as it looked good – but where they talked about serving it with rice, I decided to make some potato dumplings to make it feel properly Central European. The key for this dish is to have good paprika, maybe even a few types for a complex flavour, and to have this cook for so long that the meat can easily come apart with a fork. This meal did just that and, like most stews, was even better when we warmed up the leftovers for dinner later that evening.

Dessert: Gerbeaud Cake

Now, I opted to not make dobos torte because of the nightmare that would be to make a number of evenly thin cake layers. I looked it up in a bunch of recipes and it felt like nightmare fuel, especially as I am still somewhat in post-covid recovery. However, this was for my husband’s birthday meal and so I wanted to make a cake that was somewhat special. Enter the Gerbeaud cake which, much like Sachertorte, is named after the establishment that came up with it… which was named for the founding chef Emil Gerbeaud.

This is a cake (recipe from Kitchen Nostalgia) made of three layers of pastry, with the in between layers made of apricot jam, chopped walnuts and a sprinkling of rum. The whole thing is then covered in a layer of dark chocolate glaze. Not going to mince words, but it is delicious. It was an absolute devil to get out of the baking tin because of a bunch of sugar caramelizing, but it was fine in the end. I mean, hey, I managed to take a picture of a wonderful slice. Made for a decent birthday cake too.

Now it is time to go back to the world of Oceania cooking. I am still avoiding Australia for now as I want to knock out a few more of the island nations – which means I am setting sail for the cuisine of Tonga.

Around The World in 100 Films – Start Point

List Item: Watch films from 100 different nations
Progress: 22/100

Time for me to open up the second of my three film bucket list items with a rather arbitrary goal of seeing films from 100 different nations. Unlike the Oscar list item this is something that can be permanently crossed off unless I suddenly get the urge to add another batch of countries to keep this going.

Now, I have decided to count countries as long as I watched the film after I put this onto my bucket list which was (yes I made a note) on August 5th 2013. This means that some countries (e.g. Finland, South Africa, China and Israel) are not on the list yet despite me having seen them in the past. I figured using this cut off point would serve as a way to make this more challenging whilst also keeping Burkina Faso (still stoked about that one).

Whilst I was preparing this list I saw there were 21 countries on the list and instantly envisioned doing a really cool triangle number diagram as you can see below:WorldCinemaTriangleNotice the problem? Well in making that list I had forgotten that I saw a Polish film at the end of January which means poor Hungary (my most recent nation) has to lay on the outskirts since I decided to do this in order of seeing them. My inner math-geek is not impressed with this. It was later pointed out to me that a film I thought was Australian was from New Zealand, now my inner flag-geek is unhappy too.

Still 22 countries down, 78 to go. Not a bad place to start with, although there are not many of the big film nations left which will make this interesting.

Any film suggestions for yet unwatched countries will be VERY much appreciated. Bear in mind re-watches are not allowed here so films like Tsotsi, Drifting Clouds and Waltz With Bashir will not count.

  1. Germany – Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)
  2. U.S.A. – Robocop
  3. Netherlands – De Vierde Man(The Fourth Man)
  4. Czech Republic – Kolja (Kolya)
  5. Italy – La Strada
  6. Burkina Faso – Sarraounia
  7. Argentina – El Secreto De Sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes)
  8. Japan – Zatoichi Monogatari (The Story of Zatoichi)
  9. Brazil  – Cidade De Deus (City of God)
  10. Denmark – Melancholia
  11. United Kingdom – Blowup
  12. Norway – Flåklypa Grand Prix (Pinchcliffe Grand Prix)
  13. France – La règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game)
  14. New Zealand – The Piano
  15. Poland – Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds)
  16. Spain – El espíritu de la colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive)
  17. Sweden – Viskningar och Rop (Cries and Whispers)
  18. Belgium – Ernest & Célestine
  19. Greece – Kynodontas (Dogtooth)
  20. Canada – The Sweet Hereafter
  21. Algeria – Z
  22. Hungary – A torinói ló(The Turin Horse)