I always say you can't know the culture of a country until you go to one of their markets, so that's what we did one sunny day in Budapest. Our destination was the Great Market Hall
where we shopped with the locals,
admiring beautiful linens,
before getting serious about the choices of food. Sausages were in abundance everywhere we looked,
and the selection of fruits and vegetables was a panorama of color.
It was hard to resist the breads and pretzels,
and there were at least 10 flavors of strudel to choose from. Ten flavors--how can you choose!
Of course, Hungary is a major source of paprika
which is a spice made from grinding dried fruits of Capsicum annuum (bell pepper or chili pepper.) Hungarian paprika is available in 6 grades, from a delicate and sweet flavor to a very spicy taste.
It's a primary ingredient in Hungarian goulash, which was packaged in mixes for a novice goulash maker like me.
You won't leave the market hungry, with many local delicacies to try, like stuffed cabbage rolls
and Hungarian "hot dogs."
Goulash is on every menu, so of course, we had to try it while we were there,
along with wiener schnitzel--the Hungarian "chicken fried steak" --which was delicious. So delicious that I chose it two nights in a row.
After dinner one evening, we had saved room for apple strudel, which we thought was the best of the best, until....
we tried the sour cherry strudel from the market. Divine!
Those of you who enjoy traveling know that to truly experience a country, it's your responsibility to try the local flavors. No doubt that we did our job there!
More about Budapest soon....