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Under the 150 years of Turkish rule had the greatest influence on Hungarian gastronomy.

During the Turkish occupation, countless, previously unknown flavors entered Hungarian cuisine.

If we approach from the side of gastronomy in the 16-17. century history, meet positive effects with countless, previously unknown flavors and its development of today’s culinary culture.

Hungarian eating habits during the Turkish occupation were characterized by the fact that the dishes were prepared with butter, many dairy products were in use and the dishes were very seasoned. Cooked pasta and dumplings were added as a side dish or used in soup. Among the dishes were pies, sausages, sausages, jellies, donuts, pancakes, and strudel. The cooking methods included grating, pickling, stitching, draping, ablation, steaming, toasting. In the Turkish occupation areas naturally the Turkish culinary culture came to the fore, using the characteristics of Turkish cuisine. We took the patties, flame, bejglit and stuffed cabbage from the Turks. Parsley, cumin, anise and horseradish are among our herbs inherited in our kitchen. Among the sweets, they brought barbecue, cakes, sponge cakes, bird milk, gingerbread, Turkish honey and its typical coffee. Then poppy, tomato and eggplant appeared. Turkish influences began to grow almonds, cherries, figs, nuts, grapes, peaches and cherries in Hungary. Pepper has become an indispensable element in Hungarian gastronomy through Turkish mediation. It has enriched our nutritional culture, has resulted in many common meals, and as a result, the Turkish-Hungarian tastes are quite close to each other. All-in -all, we can say that in the Hungarian nutrition culture by the Turkish influence has brought about significant changes that are still effective.

Regarding the consumption of meat, the pork has become increasingly popular in Hungary in the 16th century, as pork was not consumed by Turkish soldiers, so it could remain intact even during looting.

Meaty and rice dishes: Basically the shepherd’s dish into the Hungarian cuisine came from the Turks. These foods are mainly porridge and pasta dishes, lentils, sturgeon, egg barley. The pilau – rice and meat, biber – stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbage became our favorite food during the occupation and still today in the XXI century. Both peoples are well-known for their meaty buns, the only difference is that Hungarian cuisine pork was in use as the filling. Among the most well-known dishes of Turkish cuisine are the dishes stuffed with cabbage or rice in vine leaves which are available in tins at the local stores.

Sweets: From Turkish times, our cuisine becomes “sweeter” and finds its place in Hungarian cuisine with brittle cake, brioche, bird milk, honey brioche, turkey honey or quince cheese. Also arriving in the Turkish mediation the poppy seeds which later became in the Hungarian pasta and cakes, cakes.

Regarding to the Hungarian pastries, the „pogácsa” pastry (based on rather salty soft snack) and since the word itself is of Ottoman origin (called then Baghja), we have reason to believe that it was already known to the conquering Hungarians, only amplified by the Ottoman-Turkish era. Turkish honey was originally an Armenian sweet, but it came to us through the mediation of the Turks.

Turkish herbs and vegtables: Also played a significant role in Hungarian gastronomy. At that time it became an indispensable spice for peasant cuisine, but now-a-days these spices make our food even more colorful. Eggplants have been native in-and-around the Mediterranean and the Balkans since the 17th century, but to Hungary came through the Turkish mediation, which is a.k.a.  Turkish paradise.  One of the best known dishes made of it was the stuffed eggplant called “töltött padlizsán” “imam bayıldı” – “imam fainted”. Cannot skip to mention the seasoning with Turkish mediation includes sage, juniper, rosemary, thyme, peppermint, parsley, pepper, various onions, horseradish and saffron. The spread of maize in Hungary can be attributed to the Turks as well. Among the most well-known and favorite by many is cabbage stuffed with meat and/or rice in vine leaves.

Turkish Fruits: The influence may be also better discovered in the fruits that come to our land … apricots, strawberries, figs, medlar and Mediterranean plants and without them unimaginable in to-day’s Hungarian gastronomy.

We can see that in addition to our food, fruits and spices, the Turkish presence has influenced the long-term formation of our Hungarian dishes. Originally a fermented beverage made from millet, later made from different cereals, boza are very popular in Hungary. In addition to boza, the Turkish coffee as their traditional drink, appears in our country in the 16th century, and many people still to-day prefer to drink Turkish coffee. In the 15th century, like bozo, coffee was used as a medicine in addition to its enjoyment which shows an inpact to the Turkish presence and in our daily drinks.

Some recipes will be shared later, which we still consume to this day.

© Aggie Reiter