The celebration of the Hungarian goulash: Goulash festival of Szolnok
If you ask anybody around the world about which nation can be connected with the origin of the name of “goulash” most of them will reply immediately: the Hungarian. It is no wonder that Hungary has become a goulash world power, because every bit of this wonderful food belongs to Hungary. This is why the organizers of the Goulash festival of Szolnok are cherishing this tradition for years.
Szolnok is 100 kilometers from Budapest; the county center lies on the bank of the river Tisza. This is where the biggest goulash cooking competition and festival of Hungary is held for the 16th time this year. This is where the goulash started it’s conquer: from the kettles of the Hungarian Great Plain’s shepherds. This is why Szolnok, one of the biggest cities on the Plain is the most suitable for this event.
The Goulash Festival of Szolnok has become a large goulash celebration. In the last years more than 600 kettles of goulash has been cooked, the number of visitors has been over 50 000. These numbers are very demonstrative, and if somebody has been this feast, they will know that the quality is a basic requirement, because you can find the best goulashes here! The feast last for several days, the city attracts the visitors with many events, but the featured day is the day of the cooking competition, and this way the goulash’ day is Saturday (13 September).
The unique spirit of the festival and the many sights are waiting for the visitors. You can see cheerful cunning people hustling around the kettle from the morning, many of them are dressing in traditional clothes – this is the way they are preparing the different kinds of goulashes.
The more house, the more goulash – according to the Hungarian phrase where making a pun the “goulash” replaces the “habit”. And we can say so, because the masters of goulash are arriving from within and outside the county borders, from numbers of cities and villages, and every one of them are preparing the legendary Hungarian meal in different ways.
Beside of the guardians of the kettles many members of the jury and master cooks are appearing in their fancy suits, and paying a visit in every cooking place, controlling the preparations, the ingredients, and they are paying attention for everything from the beginning to the final decision. Whoever wins the competition this day, can be really proud, because, within the competitors, many proper goulash cookers can be found. The winner worthily deserves the title “Goulash king of the year”.
Besides tasting the most delicious goulashes, the visitors can spend an unforgettable day in the Tiszaliget (Tisza-shade), Szolnok. The visitors can see folk art products displayed in many places, old men playing zither on the escarp, listen to gypsy music while drinking a glass of delicious Hungarian wine, can taste craft beers or high quality schnapps and many tasteful Hungarian meals even beside the goulash. After the gastronomical pleasures, the visitors can enjoy themselves in concerts with interesting artists for from the youngest to the oldest.
Describing the mood, the many sights, and the program is nearly impossible, but all information can be found in the official website of the festival: http://magyargulyas.hu/
Whoever was in this festival, they know, whoever not, come and see with your own eyes: the Goulash festival of Szolnok is the biggest celebration of the Hungarian goulash.