понедельник, 9 февраля 2009 г.

Postcard from Hungary





Bread is a staple food prepared by baking a dough of flour and water. It may be leavened or unleavened. Salt, fat and a leavening agent such as yeast are common ingredients, though breads may contain a range of other ingredients: milk, egg, sugar, spice, fruit (such as raisins), vegetables (such as onion), nuts (such as walnuts) or seeds (such as poppy seeds). Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods, dating back to the Neolithic era. The development of leavened bread can probably also be traced to prehistoric times.

Fresh bread is prized for its taste, aroma, freshness and texture. Retaining its freshness is important to keep it appetizing. Bread that has stiffened or dried past its prime is said to be stale. Modern bread is sometimes wrapped in paper or plastic film, or stored in an airtight container such as a breadbox to keep it fresh longer. Bread that is kept in warm, moist environments is prone to the growth of mold. Bread kept at low temperatures, for example, in a refrigerator, will develop mold growth more slowly than bread kept at room temperature. However, unwrapped bread kept in a typical household refrigerator will turn stale quickly due to the low humidity of the air.

The inner, soft part of bread is known to bakers and other culinary professionals as the crumb, which is not to be confused with small bits of bread that often fall off, called crumbs. The outer hard portion of bread is called the crust.

Hungarian or Magyar cuisine is the cuisine characteristic to the nation of Hungary and its primary ethnic group, the Magyars. The traditional Hungarian cuisines dishes are cooked from the ground, using a wide variety of fresh, unpreserved, high quality ingredients, including meats, seasonal vegetables, fruits, fresh bread, cheeses and honey, based on centuries old traditions in spicing and preparation methods.

Hungarians are especially passionate about their soups, desserts and pastries and stuffed pancakes (palacsinta), with fierce rivalries between regional variations of the same dish, (like the Hungarian hot fish soup called Fisherman's Soup or halászlé, cooked differently on the banks of Hungary's two main rivers: the Danube and the Tisza). Other famous Hungarian dishes would be Paprikash (paaprika stew, meat simmered in thick creamy paprika gravy) served with nokedli (small dumplings), Goulash, Gundel Pancake (pancakes served flambéed in dark chocolate sauce filled with ground walnuts) and Dobos Cake (layered sponge cake, with chocolate buttercream filling and topped with a thin caramel slice).

Two remarkable elements of Hungarian cuisine that are hardly noticed by locals, but usually conjure up much enthusiasm amongst foreigners, are different forms of vegetable stews called főzelék as well as cold fruit soups, like cold sour cherry soup (Hungarian: hideg meggyleves).

Meat stews, casseroles, steaks, roasted pork, beef, poultry, lamb or game and the Hungarian sausages (kolbász) and winter salami are a major part of Hungarian cuisine. The mixing of different varieties of meat is a traditional feature of the Hungarian cuisine. Goulash, stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbages or Fatanyéros (Hungarian mixed grill on wooden platter]) can combine beef and pork, and sometimes mutton. In very exclusive dishes fruits like plums and apricots are cooked with meat or in piquant sauces/stuffings for game, roasts and other cuts. Various kinds of noodles and dumplings, potatoes and rice are commonly served as a side dish. The Hungarian cuisine uses a large variety of cheeses, but the most common are túró (a fresh quark cheese), cream cheeses, ewe-chese (juhturó), Emmentaler, Edam and the Hungarian cheese Trappista.

Bread
Hungarian cuisine

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