2015. július 5., vasárnap

Some Hungaricums of Hungary


Unicum is a special, bitter, alcoholic liqueur made with herbs and spices that Hungarians swear by as an aid to digestion, among many other things. 

Unicum brands: Unicum, Unicum Szilva, Unicum Next.

Other famous snifters that Hungarians like to drink: Fütyülős, Vilmos, St. Hubertus, Kalinka, Zwack Maximilian, Kosher, Hirös, Portorico, Zwack Címeres, Jägermeister.

If you want to visit the Zwack Museum in Budapest, you will find it at Dandár Street 1. Hungarian and English guided tours are available for groups.

You can find more information in Zwack Unicum Heritage Visitors' Centre.

Bull's Blood of Eger

Bull's Blood or Bikavér, is the name of a special type of red wine cuvée, made in the wine region of Eger.

The name comes from the Turkish Ages, when according to the legend, castle defenders became stronger as they drank the red wine, and the Turkish soldiers thought the red liquid was bull's blood. Now Bikavér is a very popular cuvée wine and has its own festivals and fans.

Officially Egri Bikavér must contain at least three of the following 13 grapes: Kadarka, Kékfrankos, Blauer Portugieser (Kékoportó), Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Menoire (known as Kékmedoc, or Médoc noir before), Pinot noir, Syrah, Turán, Bíborkadarka and the modern Austrian crossings, Blauburger and Zweigelt. It needs to age at least 12 months in wooden cask and 6 months in bottle before releasing on the market. 

In 2004 a new level, Egri Bikavér Superior was introduced. In this case, at least 5 out of the 13 recommended varieties must be used and also a lower yield must be applied.Regulations on the composition of the blend, the wine making technology and minimum alcohol level also differs from normal Egri Bikavér. High-quality Egri Bikavér requires two or three years of oak aging, and is best with game, beef, or other spicy food. Egri Bikavér should be served at 16-18°C.

Szamos Marzipan, a hungarian Delicacy

They say that it all began with the rose…

It was in the early 1930s when a young apprentice confectioner, Mátyás Szamos mastered the art of making a pretty rose from the almondy, sweet product called marzipan. He believed, that with enough skill, attention and lots of practice almost anything could be handcrafted from the sweetened almond mass.

To date, Szamos Marzipan comes in different shapes and sizes, with the rose being the most famous of them all and definitely one to savor. Equally delicious are the marzipan bonbons covered with dark chocolate, which by the way make a great gift.

You can see and taste a vast selection of marzipan at Szamos’ flagship store in Váci Street. The store is managed by the confectioner dynasty and it is a popular café too.

For enthusiasts there is a museum in Szentendre, dedicated to the life and work of the two outstanding Hungarian marzipan makers: Mátyás Szamos and Károly Szabó. The exhibition displays the art of marzipan making along with some of their masterpieces, such as a marzipan version of the Parliament building.

Túró Rudi

This was invented in the 1960's by a small group of dairy industry professionals inspired by a study trip to Moscow. They came up with a unique new product - a dark chocolate bar filled with lemony cottage cheese. The "pöttyös" (literally spotty) theme was part of the original marketing campaign, but now it's a uniquely recognisable brand of this dessert. It has a lot of variants, like extra-large, milk chocolate-covered, apricot and strawberry jam filled, and so on, but none of these are as popular as the original. In foreign countries you may find it under the brand name "Dots".

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