I’m 1st generation American. My parents emigrated from Hungary. So, out of curiousity, anyone else?
I’m first generation American on my father side. He’s from Matrafured, Hungary. Where are you parent’s from? Do you speak the language?
My dad was born in Budapest, and my Mom in (I think) Zamardi.
I’m pretty fluent since that’s all we spoke at home growing up. The longer I live away from home, the rustier I feel myself becoming. I should really start reading hungarian news sites or something.
My wife’s family is Hungarian on one side. Her grandparents and great-aunt were born there. The aunt, now deceased, used to host a Christmas get together where they ate Hurka, chicken paprikas, and other delicacies. She taught me how to cook several dishes.
We took the aunt to Budapest in the 80’s. She had not been there since 1900, but still spoke semi-fluent Hungarian. Every cab ride was the same: she’d speak with the driver for a couple of sentences then he’d say “Nem, nem” in disbelief when she told him how long since she had been there. Her family is from Miscolcz (sp?) in the nort east. We visted there but it was fairly grimy. Her father worked on the Chain Bridge in Budapest.
Oh yeah. My two favorite hungarian foods are Chicken Paprikas with dumplings and Palacsintas (Crepes).
I can make them both myself. Not too difficult.
The last time I was in Hungary, I was 7 or 8. So that was pre- fall of the Soviet Union.
Anyone been there recently?
Every Christmas, my family has Chicken paprika with spetzle. Dee-licious. Also, at the local Hungarian diner, my dad orders this artery-clogging dish that consists of potatoes, sour cream, eggs, and sausages. Does anyone know the name of this dish? I don’t speak the language and the last time I’ve been to Hungary was 1986. My dad goes back about every two years. From his reports, it sounds like things are doing well over there. At least the crushing poverty from the Cold War era is less crushing.
Budapest is becoming quite the tourist destination these days. Especially now that Hungary’s in the EU. I’d say I know about half a dozen people who’ve been there recently and all of them had nothing but good things to say.
Haven’t been myself, but would like to some day.
Sounds like Rakott Krumpli. (Layered potatoes)
Just layers of potato, Sausage, hard-boiled eggs, and sour cream like you said.
My father’s parents emigrated from Hungary (Transylvania). They moved back for a couple of years and became fluent in the language.
However, whenever my sisters and I asked him for stories about the “old country” he would only say “if we’d liked it, we would have stayed.”
ruadh: Yeah, from Ireland it should be a relatively easy trip. I’d like to go back at some point, but that takes some major planning from over here in Chicago. (and cash)
kunilou: Did your parents become fluent in Hungarian or Romanian?
You know, I could tell that. Despite the fact that you’d been instructed by an expert dialectician and grammarian. I could tell.
i’m not hungarian, but lived there for 8 months… i’ll just say i miss - turo rudi!! and dunaTV where they would show those old black and white hungarian films… and the nightly animated folktales (that i couldn’t but the DVD of from TESCO because of dvd restricted zones… )
i miss the kindness and passion of the people. i wish i could speak more, but i can only say weird things like “i was walking on the dried leaves” and “do you believe in ghosts?”
also, i liked the cherry soup… do any of you have a recipe for it?
This is turning into a culinary discussion, but that’s ok.
You mean the cold soup made with sour cherries, right? Good stuff. I don’t know any particularly good recipes, but I know I like it better when it’s made with heavy cream as opposed to sour cream.
How can we neglect mentioning food when it comes to the country that gave us paprika? We could discuss famous Hungarian/Americans or Hungarian stereotypes?
Famous people: Tony Curtis, the Gabor sisters, Mariska Hargitay’s father, Rachel Weisz, Freddi Prinze’s mother (I think) and Drew Barrymore’s mother. Plus, the director King Vidor. Has anyone seen the movie “Sunshine”? Excellent film.
Stereotypes: my grandmother grew up in an are of Hungary that’s now Romania (the Transylvania region) and she used to tease us about how her canines were really long. Also, I’ve read that Hungarians are known for their pessimism (which holds true for my father definitely).
Tony Curtis? I didn’t know that. He’s also Jamie Lee Curtis’s pop, right?
Oh, yeah. I’ve got lots of first hand evidence of that! Give it a couple of generations though.
So Quinoa, was it your job that took you there for awhile?
Yep. Born Bernard Schwartz, the son of a Hungarian immigrant who’d been an amateur actor in Budapest. Don’t know his mother’s nationality.
I lived in Budapest for two years. i miss the food, the snacks, the candy, the Beer.
My family and I lived as locals and I had a small hold of the language. My wife had a better grip and could actually say the word for cabbage.
oh I miss the beer.
One quarter Hungarian Kiwi checking in.
So, sit yourself back for a story.
My Grandfather was born in New York State shortly after his parents emmigrated from Hungary. He was posted in New Zealand during the Second World War. He met this wonderful kiwi chick and used to slip out of the barracks at night to spend time with her. A little while later when he was in the Philipines he got a letter saying there were some upcoming results from a bit of a romp in the hay. It was also a letter saying goodbye forever. Apparently my grandmother was feeling pressure from family at home and wasn’t going to wait around for the war to end and a faint possibility of them getting together. Needless to say my grandfather was more than a little upset. He wanted to get married, but that was the last communication they had.
So my Mum arrives on the scene and is adopted out – to an elderly couple who hadn’t been able to have kids. (Unfortunately she was orphaned as a teenager and the road was a bit bumpy for a bit.) Track forward to about 17 years ago. NZ laws changed allowing adopted adults to find more information about their natural parents. It didn’t take too long for my mother to find her mother. And not too long after that for her to get the full story and track down her Dad. She made several visits to the States and he came here a couple of times. He got to meet all six of his previously unknown grandchildren, both here and also in the States. He also got to meet his long-lost sweetheart. (Nah, the story isn’t that soppy. They didn’t get together although they did communicate for a bit.) He died last year in his mid eighties.
Mum has developed an interest in learning Hungarian and in Hungarian cooking. It is not unusual in family get-togethers to have copious quantities of delectable pastries with lots of poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Delicious sausages are also on the menu and great jars of paprika are standard in the cupboards. I don’t know the name of anything, but it is all yummy.
Hungary is on the list of places I’d like to visit some time but it is a long way from here. One day though I want to check out my roots a bit.