Hungary has always marched to a different drummer speaking a language, preparing dishes and drinking wines like no others. It s Europe at its most exotic. Hungary s scenery is more gentle than striking, more pretty than stunning. But you can t say the same thing about the built environment across the land. Architecturally Hungary is a treasure trove, with everything from Roman ruins and medieval town houses to baroque churches, neoclassical public buildings and Art Nouveau bathhouses and schools. There is a lot more to Hungarian food than goulash and it remains one of the most sophisticated styles of cooking in Europe. Magyars even go so far as to say there are three essential world cuisines: French, Chinese and their own. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but Hungary's reputation as a food centre dates largely from the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th and, despite a fallow period during the chilly days of communism, is once again commanding attention. So too are the nation's world-renowned wines from the big-bodied reds of Villány and white Olazrizling from Badacsony to honey-gold Tokaj.
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