Hungarian or Magyar cuisine is the cuisine characteristic of the nation of Hungary and its primary ethnic group, the Magyars. Traditional Hungarian dishes are primarily based on meats, seasonal vegetables, fruits, bread, dairy products, and cheeses.
Hungarian cuisine is mostly continental Central European, with some elements from Eastern Europe such as the use of poppy, and the popularity of kefir and quark. Paprika is often associated with Hungary and is used prominently in several dishes. Typical Hungarian food is heavy on dairy, cheese, and meats, similar to that of neighboring Czech, and Slovak cuisines. Chicken, pork, and beef are common, while turkey, duck, lamb, fish, and game meats are mostly eaten on special occasions. Hungary is also known for relatively inexpensive salamis and sausages it produces primarily from pork, but also poultry, beef, and others.
Goulash often imagined as the quintessential Hungarian dish, is not eaten very frequently. Other famous Hungarian meat stews include paprikás, a thicker stew with meat simmered in thick, creamy, paprika-flavored gravy, and pörkölt, a stew with boneless meat (usually beef or pork), onion, and sweet paprika powder, both served with nokedli or galuska (small dumplings). In some old-fashioned dishes, fruits such as plums and apricots are cooked with meat or in piquant sauces/stuffings for games, roasts, and other cuts. Various kinds of noodles, dumplings, potatoes, and rice are commonly served as side dishes. Hungarian dry sausages (kolbász) and winter salami are also widely eaten.
Other characteristics of Hungarian cuisine are the soups, casseroles, desserts, and pastries and stuffed crêpes (palacsinta), with fierce rivalries between regional variations on the same dish (such as the Hungarian hot fish soup called fisherman’s soup or halászlé, cooked differently on the banks of Hungary’s two main rivers: the Danube and the Tisza), palacsinta (pancakes served flambéed in a dark chocolate sauce filled with ground walnuts) and Dobos Cake (layered sponge cake, with chocolate buttercream filling and topped with a thin layer of crunchy caramel).
Two elements of Hungarian cuisine that impress foreigners are the various vegetable stews called főzelék as well as cold fruit soups, such as cold sour cherry soup (Hungarian: hideg meggyleves).Hungarian cuisine