A Dish with Humble Beginnings
This classic Hungarian dish harkens back to cool fall nights in Hungarian fields. Imagine the herdsmen of Hungary's history gathering to stir and savor Hungarian Goulash as it cooked over an open fire, the cold air nipping at their noses but a warm and tasty meal to keep them comfortable. Made with the freshest ingredients the Hungarian countryside can provide, this style goulash has been a cultural favorite for centuries. Everyone from shepherds to nobles fought off the fall chill with a bowl a goulash, but the dish owes its name to herdsmen, or “gulyás” in Hungarian, that first filled their cauldrons with the stewy combination of meat, spices, and wild vegetables.
Hungarian Culinary Culture
Hungarian Goulash is unique for its use of the spice that sets the country’s cuisine apart from the crowd – paprika. Considered the national spice by many, paprika was introduced to Hungary by the Turks around the 16th century. Since then, pinches of the rich, sweet, peppery powder have defined not just Hungarian Goulash but an entire culinary culture in which an abundance of paprika can be found in kitchens, gardens, and restaurants throughout the country.