Monday, October 25, 2010

Meat, Meat and more Meat

 Not only for my fellow Hungarians, but for anyone who is hungry for some meat, and adventurous enough to try some tasty goodness from my homeland I recommend The Hungarian Meat Market.  Not only because it's pretty much the only one in whole NY, but because it's really good.

 Surprisingly wide variety of goodies.  Several different types of bacon.  Fresh as well as dry sausages (Gyulai) range from spicy to mild.  Head cheese which is one of my favorite, all though I know it can be a bit scary for the ones not used to pork jelly and fat.  They also carry töpörtyű or also called tepertő, which is basically fried pork (also make it from goose) skin dried with some meat and fat still attached to it.  It's some pretty heavy stuff.  Also found in Mexican cuisine, but it's called chicherones.  Same thing but in bigger cuts then the Hungarian version.  They also sell tepertős pogácsa, which is a kind of bread snack made of the tepertő.  I know it sounds weird, but it actually tastes great freshly baked with bacon bits.

 Diós-mákos beigli is another favorite.  Especially baked for Christmas festivities, but here you can find it year around.  It's basically rolled up pastry filled with mák (poppy seed) or dió (grounded walnut).

 Then there's the famous Hungarian paprika from Szeged (an old city at the SE tip of the country) or from Kalocsa ( 80 miles south of Budapest). I have to mention some of the home made goodness they have refrigerated.  Goulash (which is actually spelled gulyas) and stuffed cabbage, as well as fresh savanyú káposzta, which is basically sauerkraut.  They apparently make some of the stuff in the back, but they also have an outlet in New Jersey.  The family owned joint has been there since the 50's.  Walking in you'll be welcomed by friendly Hungarians, who'll give you a taste of anything before purchase.

 The only thing I really wish they had is túró rudi, which is a very popular sweet snack filled with cottage cheese and covered with chocolate.  The only version they carry is some similar stuff from Russia, obviously doesn't look or taste the same.  Not even close.  I understand the difficulties of importing food goods from a foreign country, and i appreciate the stuff they already have.

 They are located on the upper east side on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 81st.  You won't miss it, there's a huge picture of old grandpa cooking up gulyas on the side of the building.  Everytime I go there, my heart warms up of the colorful sight of such wonderful food that my homeland has created for centuries. So go with an open mind and a hungry stomach.  Enjoy!

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