The golden age of the famous coffeehouses of Budapest was at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. However, we see now the renaissance of the coffeehouse and coffee culture. We try to see different coffeehouses on our foodie tours so that travellers can sample the best Hungarian coffee and cakes.

I’ve already posted about Central and Book cafés, although I should have started with Gerbeaud, as it’s the probably the most famous and known coffeehouse of Budapest.

The story of the Gerbeaud family is very impressive, Emile Gerbeaud, the French bonbonnier was invited to Budapest by Henrik Kugler, the owner of the very popular cake shop and coffeehouse on Vörösmarty square. Emile Gerbeaud’s contribution to the cake shop was a huge success, he invented and created a great assortment of bonbons that were sold in millions every year. He overtook the business and the Gerbeaud name became a highly renowned trademark not only in Budapest but all over the European continent.

The Gerbeaud Café was the ladies’ coffeehouse at the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century, meaning that young ladies frequented the place in the hope of finding a rich husband. Even now there are rumours and urban legends about how lady guest can give a secret sign if they are in search of a husband or a lover. Join my foodie tour if you’d like to know more about the details and this beautiful café of Budapest.

 

We were lucky enough to visit the Tokaj wine region last week, this is one of my favourite tours. We were able to sample some truly amazing wine in Tokaj and Mád, visited the fairytale castle of Boldogkő, saw a beautiful rainbow over the vineyards and had also the chance to see the Mád synagogue.

This was a tour to remember, I hope I can show more and more travellers this beautiful part of Hungary.

The Hungarian “Székelykáposzta” is a great dish combining sauerkraut and pork stew, a nice meal to warm your body and soul on a cool day.

Drain 2.2 pound sauerkraut in a colander, rinse it gently under cold water and let it sit in the colander for a few minutes. Put half of the cabbage in a large saucepan, put in 1.3 pound diced pork rib and cover with the other half of the cabbage. Add 4 bay leafs and water to cover it and cook gently for 2 hours on low.

Heat 5.25 oz lard in a large saucepan on medium heat. Toss in 2 large chopped onions, cook them with a pinch of salt until they soften up. Remove saucepan from heat, stir in 3 teaspoon paprika powder with the onions until they’re fully coated. Put the saucepan back on the heat, turn it up to medium-high, and add 1.3 pound diced pork shoulder or leg. Cook until all the meat has browned. Once the meat is browned, add 1 tablespoon paprika paste or cream, 1 large chopped tomato and 1 diced bell pepper. Pour in water until it covers the meat, bring it up to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook slightly uncovered stirring occasionally for about 90 minutes.

Pour the pork stew in the cabbage stew, cook on medium low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat 1 tablespoon lard in a small saucepan on medium high. Add 2 tablespoon flour, stir until it’s browned, add 1 teaspoon paprika powder. Add 1 cup cold water, mix it and add the flour mixture to the cabbage. Add half of the sour cream, bring it up to a simmer.

You can serve the cabbage dish with the other half of the sour cream.

The most known Hungarian dish is probably the Goulash soup, it’s served with fresh white bread and is a real treat. Find below the recipe, and let me know if you need recommendations about where you can get the best Goulash in Budapest or in Hungary.

In a large soup pot over medium heat saute 2, finely chopped onions in 2 tablespoons lard (or vegetable oil), stirring frequently until lightly browned, don’t let them brown. Add salt and 2 tablespoons of paprika (you can avoid getting the paprika burnt by adding the paprika while the pot is not over heat, stirring it for a few seconds).

Turn the heat high and add beef cubes (2,2 pounds beef chuck roast, tenderloin or sirloin, chopped into 1 inch * 1 inch cubes), stir for 3 minutes until the meat is seared on all sides. Let the meat simmer in its own juice while adding ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, some salt, ground black pepper and 1 bay leaf, pour enough water to cover the content of the pan and let it simmer on low heat, until the meat is almost tender (1,5 – 2 hours), add water if necessary to keep it 1 inch above the level of the meat.

Add 1 bunch parsley, 1 tablespoon tomato paste and vegetables (peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces): 4 carrots, 2 parsley roots, 4 medium potatoes. Add 2 or 3 cups of water (or beef broth) to keep a soup consistency. Add salt if desired. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the meat is tender.

Serve with freshly made spatzle/spatzel.