Mangalica pork, Gundel pancakes and Kürtös Kalacs
The Hungarian capital is rich in attractions: the imposing castle majestically perchecd above the Danube River, the distinctive Chain Bridge, the impressive Andrassy Street or the city's largest church St. Stephen's Basilica have attracted and enthralled millions of tourists over the years. Above all though, Budapest is a young and lively city. Music can always be heard and there is never a time when there's nothing to celebrate. An essential part of these celebrations are the many delicious Hungarian specialities and the more delicious they get, the more difficult the names are to pronounce!
Budapest's Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square in the centre of the city opens on November 18th and transforms the square into a sea of twinkling lights. This is absolute paradise for those of you with a sweet-tooth. Aromas from the open kitchens fill the air, a delicious mixture of roasted nuts, chocolate and coconut. One of the most coveted deliciacies is the "Kürtös Kalács", also known as chimney cake becuase of its cylindrical shape. After the dough is formed using large wooden reels it is then baked in an open fire. It is served according to taste with butter, sugar, chocolate sauce, nuts or cinnamon. This kind of pastry dates back to Medieval times and is a real calorie-bomb but then again, who's counting!
In contrast to the splendid Christmas decorations which dominate Budapest in Advent, in February Freedom Square near the parliament building is taken over by a special race of swine - the Mangalitsa Pig to be exact, fondly referred to as the "woolly pig". As its nick-name suggests this Hungarian breed is characterised by its woolly coat which, in addition to a very thick layer of fat, enables farmers to keep the animals outside all year round. A few decades ago it was facing extinction, but today the Magalitsa Pig is enjoying a great comeback and has never been so popular, not only among animal lovers but also gourmets. During the Mangalitsa Festival from February 3rd to 5th the wide range of Magalitsa delicacies are presented: bacon, sausage, salami and also freshly roasted suckling pig.
How do you know when spring has begun in Hungary? That's easy - just check out when the Budapest Spring Festival starts. From March 22nd to April 7th 2013 every corner of the city will be turned into a stage. Operas, jazz, classical concert and folk music, dance groups and artists come together to create the largest Hungarian cultural festival of the year. 100 events performed in more than 30 different venues await you.
And when you think all this culture could make you hungry - we have the perfect suggestion: Why not visit the famous Café Gundel and order some delicious Gundel pancakes whose recipe was invented right here! You certainly won't regret it!
So, have we managed to whet your appetite for Budapest? Simply get Panorama Tours to put together your individual Hungarian trip itinerary!