I booked one tour beforehand for my trip to Budapest - a culinary walking tour with Taste Hungary. I've been on several food tours before in other cities and really like them as a way to experience the culture and taste a wider range of items than I'd be likely to otherwise.
We started in the food market in the middle of town (top photo) - a massive building full of stalls and locals doing their shopping and tourists.
On the ground levels were bakers, spice sellers (lots of paprika), lots of fruit and vegetable stalls, sausage, pork and poultry sellers. I loved seeing all the food on display and not a pre packaged selection in sight. Downstairs are the smelly things - mostly fish and pickles. Upstairs are cafes.
I had a wander around the market on my first day as it was very close to my hotel. I enjoyed some strawberries - which were just in season. I also discovered some fabulous mini cheese scones that were warm when I got my bag. I bought them after seeing a local lady pop one into her mouth as soon as she had her bag and the look of pleasure on her face made me want to try them - they were delicious.
I was surprised to see that the pork shops were selling crackling and 3 different types of animal fat - people buy a block. The poultry places had every part of the birds on offer.
So back to the food trip. We started as many Hungarians would with a shot of Umicon - an aperitif that is said to have digestive qualities - first time I've drank spirits in the morning for a very long time. Then another local norm - langos - a piece of deep fried bread dough covered in garlic oil then sour cream and grated cheese - very tasty although I was glad we each had a portion and not the whole thing. I like that Hungarians are not embarrassed to have garlic breathe.
Then to a sausage stall for a selection of sliced meat - all tasty. Then downstairs to the pickels stalls (middle photo). A whole aisle of stalls displaying pickled gherkins, peppers, melon and more garlic. They were lovely and crunchy and some were spicy - they are a great compliment to the rich bread and meat.
Then we left the market and walked a few blocks to a popular restaurant that specialises in meat - a meat with meat meal is common here with pickles providing the vegetable content. We had several sausages and roast duck leg. All very tasty and filling.
We then walked around looking at several building to make some room for our next stop - an old coffee house and the lovely array of cakes in the photo (we each had a taste of each one). The apricot tart was my favourite - big Austrian influence in the cakes and pastries - and the coffee culture comes from the earlier Turkish occupation.
We finished our tour with some wine tasting - Hungary produces great wines but doesn't export much.
4 hours after we started I left feeling very full and happy. I'd highly recommend these tours - if I'd been staying longer I'd be tempted by their Jewish food tour and their dinner over 4 restaurants tour.
Lots of lovely food, locally grown and produced, and not a goulash in sight!
Looking forward to seeing what snap sets you have to share this week.