We, Hungarians love to eat. We often pile large portions on our plate, even if we claim going on a rigorous diet time and again. But who can say no to our delicious, zesty traditional dishes? It is hard indeed – not only for us, but for those living abroad as well. Hungarian cuisine is esteemed as one of the best worldwide – often knowing only the famous gulyas and paprikash. But it is worthwhile getting familiar with the wide range of regional specialities ofHungary: the fish dishes of Lake Balaton, the pörkölt and various potato dishes of the Large Plains, the scrumptious game dishes of Northern Hungary – the mouth-watering list goes on.

A typical dish is sparing of ingredients – all but calories! – using seasonal vegetables and fruits and finding uses for all parts. The result is a wide array of appetizing dishes, reflecting the history and ingenuinity of the Hungarian people. Throughout centuries we have assimilated practices from the old Hungarian, Turkish, Italian and French (through the Viennese) cuisine, continually polishing and varying our traditional recipes.

This book introduces the world of traditional Hungarian cooking with a selection of dishes I have prepared many times and hopefully will continue doing so, together with our adventurous Readers.