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George Lang's Cuisine of Hungary Hardcover – June 13, 1994
100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating & Drinking
If you want to make an authentic tagine, bake mouth-watering cakes, or vicariously experience the life of a chef, you’ll find the book for it on this list.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Lang's book is the best, most useful, and completely thorough on authentic Hungarian cooking that I have found. It has enabled me to recreate some of the most delicious dishes my grandmother served me, as well as some of the exceptional pastries and cakes that were commonplace in Hungarian and Austrian coffee houses in the past. Mr. Lang's recipes are excellent, and will enable anyone to cook truly great Hungarian food. Additionally, for those who are interested (or who may become interested through experiencing the cuisine,) Mr. Lang has included a masterfully researched section on the history and culture of Hungary. A great book for those who simply enjoy creating and eating good food, to those who are already knowledgable of Hungarian cooking and culture.
Did you know, for example, that just as "the secret of the abundance of good Hungarian string instrumentalists is that they have a well developed "sound sense", it is most probable that Hungarian housewives and cooks are either born with or develop a keen "soup sense"? No?
Or what about this gem: "it wouldn't be too farfetched to say that Hungary specialises in winning international culinary battles and losing revolutions". Hmm. The French and Italians might have a thing or two to say about that.
To use it as a cookbook, you pretty much need to be an experienced cook. How about the soup recipe that begins, "first mince some meat"? Or the one that half way through instructs you to "make a roux" with no further hints?
I've made about 10 recipes from this book. With the exception of simple dumplings, none has taken less than an hour, most upwards of two.
Oh yes, the result is worth it. Yummm. It's just not for the fainthearted.
Buy the book for the history and other reading. For example, a list of actions Hungarian farmers were required to perform each month in 1674.
February - Every fifth day you have to give kiln-dried beans to peacocks to make sure that they will lay eggs speedily enough.
March - Put three goose eggs under the stork and when they hatch take them away from the stork. You can catch crabs with frog's legs, and fish with your hands if you smear your feet and legs with a mixture of melted game grease and honey.
April - buy salt for the summer and put carp into the lake.
No explanation for why the eggs go under the stork! And where do you get the carp from?
There are examples of original recipes from an 1826 cookbook (cut out the bone from a piece of good beef...); a New Year's Day menu for a Count in 1603 - consisting of two 18 course meals; and a detailed account of different regions' traditions.
It's wonderful stuff.
Really, it is more thank just a cookbook. There's a well researched introduction profiling the different cuisines from one section of Hungary to another, and thoughts as to how all of them developed.
I would highly recommend this book for every Hungarian and also for everyone who likes the best cuisine in the world - Hungarian!
foods. I have to say, this is one of my favorite and most complete books that I have. Very, very happy with this cookbook
and would surely recommend to others. These recipes are very close to what my grandparents cooked and we enjoyed!