There is plenty of international food in the restaurants of Debrecen, but who comes all the way to Hungary to eat sushi? This is a food-obsessed country with the dishes to prove it, and these are five meals to look out for in the Calvinist Rome, starting with some iconic sausage.
The famous Debrecen double sausage! No trip to the Calvinist Rome is complete without tasting its eponymous banger, a heavy porker that is packed with an impressive mix of spices. It also makes for a great souvenir, although don’t take too much in your luggage.
Bacon, potatoes, noodles — what could possibly go wrong? An old pastoral dish from the nation’s Christian origins, this is a dish that has to be cooked in a bogracs, the most traditional way of outdoor cooking. Slambuc is delightfully simple, although deceptively heavy.
It doesn’t get much more homely than this. Essentially the Hungarian polenta, puliszka is still closely associated with Hungary’s peasant population, a connection that comes from the simplicity of the ingredients and preparation. Many chefs are starting to try new ways of preparing it, but simplicity remains king.
Much of Debrecen’s traditions lie in its Calvinist past, but its flirtations with the Ottoman Empire are not forgotten. Tarhonya is another staple of the Hungarian countryside, an egg-based pasta in the shape of small balls. You can call it a Hungarian cous-cous if you must.
This is a list of must-try dishes in a major Hungarian city, so you can bet your bottom forint that goulash is going to be on the menu. A chunky meat stew with no small amount of paprika, this national classic is slightly different from town to town. How does Debrecen stand up against Budapest and the rest?