2016 is ‘The Year of Gastro Adventures’ in Hungary, and throughout the country many special events will offer visitors the chance to taste authentic local specialities. As well as a whole host of traditional dishes, some festivals will put on a range of international culinary delicacies too – plus guests may meet the local farmers and craftsmen involved.
Read on for a summary about the most unusual 8 worth noting, along with 4 honoury mentions, all hand picked by the Hungarian Tourist Board.
V. Szeged Pig Slaughter and Pálinka Festival, 11-15 March, Szeged
This five-day festival brings the atmosphere of a real traditional Hungarian pig slaughter right in the heart of Szeged in Southern Hungary. Sticker and cabbage food cooking contest, fun contests for the visitors and of course a great selection of pig dishes will charaterize the event, end of which will coincide with 15 March celebrations. Székesfehérvár will also host a similar 2-day event on 19-21 February.
Göcsej Prósza Festival 12 June, Zalaegerszeg
Prósza is a kind of pie made of flour, eggs and potato – also known as tócsni, cicege or röszti. Called prósza in Göcsej it will be highlighted suring this joyful festival. Of course we can not only taste this food during the event, but enjoy other programmes, e.g. concerts too.
Baja Fish Soup Festival – 7-10 July, Baja
Take a big spoonful of hapiness, a pinch of humour, and a huge amount of soul! If you already have these ingredients, you can start cooking: this is the secret of Baja fish soup. At the festival, every year around 2000 cauldrons fill downtown of Baja, with an endless variety of versions of delicious fish soup cooked in them. Mentioned even in the Book of Guiness Records, the event will be held in the middle of July this year.
International Goulash Festival Szolnok – 9-11 September, Szolnok
Goulash is one of the tipical dishes of the Great Hungarian Plain. The festival, held at the town of Szolnok, aims to showcase this so well-known Hungarian dish, and offers a great possibility to taste the absolutely authentic version. With cooking contest, other gastro delicacies e.g. handcrafted beer and local products, and other programmes.
XVI. International Tisza Fish Festival – 2-4 September, Szeged
Cooks duelling with cauldrons and wooden spoons will enter the comopetition, aiming to win the Fish Cooking Merit Award, founded by Venesz Prize winner Sándor Frank. While the more then 14,000 portions of fish soup are being cooked, we can try hot-air balloons, sightseeing flight, rafting or wait for Makó onions – one of the basic ingredients of real Szeged fish soup – delivered on Tisza.
XII. Vác Lecsó Festival – 3 September, Vác
Lecsó, or Hungarian vegetable stew (mostly like French ratatouille) made of basicly tomatoes, red pepper, paprika and onion is a perfect summer-early autmun food. Festival held at the town of Vác near Budapest highlights exactly this lovely dish, showing how many variations exist of it. While tasting we can also enjoy performances held at the stage of the event.
Honey Festival, 9-10 September, Kaposvár
Regional Conferenca and Trade Fair of Zselic Apiarists. One of the most popular agricultural products of Hungary is honey, so it’s worth checking the great quality of the honey made by Hungarian bees and apiarists. Also a great selection of products made with honey, and programmes from folklore dance shows to the promenade of Apiarist Orders of Knighthoods.
Honey Festival of the Carpathian Basin, 26-27 November, Zalaegerszeg
Aim of the festival is to promote health benefits of honey & honey products. Conference and trade fair for apiarists will be completed by farmer’s market offering local products. Natural products like groceries, fruits, dairy and meat products, fruit juices and wines, and also handcraft products like ceramics, jewels or soap can be purchased.
Four More Worth Mentioning To Top Food Fans:
V. May Day of Palinka and Mangalica– 29 April-1 May, Zalaegerszeg
Miénk a Város Festival – 2-4 September, Kaposvár
Festival of the Autumn Aces – 17-18 September, Ráckeve
Festival of Disc Food – 22 October, Bogács