Gluten Free Hungary

View from Citadel, Budapest

Who are you and where are you?
We are Cheryl, Csermely and Roland, a barefooting family of three, currently homesteading in the southeastern plains of Hungary, the nearest city being Szeged where we shop at the local farmers market. Living close to nature we have had the time to get to know our bodies and what the food we eat is really telling us.

Tell me about your relationship with gluten..
Since we all started earthing in October of 2011, Cheryl was the first one to start with some classic symptoms of gluten intolerance. Irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, dizziness, leg cramps, unexplained infertility – which was topped off with loss of tooth enamel and a tooth fracture combined with a migraine that lasted for several weeks. Not finding help I, Cheryl, went online and searched for what could possibly be the answer. Because of the crack in my tooth I stumbled upon information from the Weston A. Price Foundation that inspired me to change my diet to a more traditional one. With husband and toddler in tow we got rid of the gluten, including the dreadful “modern” wheat and started to add fish liver oil as well as bone broths and organ meats to our weekly fare. Roland is also sensitive to gluten and although Csermely shows no signs of being affected, bread is among the last thing she chooses to eat, preferring bacon and clabbered milk above all.

Why should gluten free travellers visit your town?
Though a majority of Hungarian pastries are laden with gluten and the meat is often breaded, this is a stereotype with many exceptions. When in Szeged definitely make a stop at Mars tér to load up on fruits, vegetables, eggs, raw milk, cheese, bacon and meats of every kind. Then go to the thermal bath to warm your soul at Anna Fürdő.

Tell me something fun about your town..
Szeged has festivals throughout the year, but for a complete travelling experience I would recommend touring more of the country. When in Budapest shop like a local at one of the many markets; the Központi Vásárcsarnok is a great place to start. If you occasionally imbibe in a sip of brandy then you are in luck, it is a drink prized by many in the country. There are wine festivals for grape lovers, sausage festivals for meat connoisseurs and the daring may want to try the Meat Jelly Festival in Miskolc (without the thick slice of white bread, of course)!

Chicken and veggies!

Fried cheese coated with egg

Where is your favourite place to eat out in your town and why?
Eating out gluten-free in Szeged can be a challenge, so here are some keywords to help you figure out the menu:

flour = liszt, wheat = búza, spelt =tönköly, rye = rózs, wheat dumpling = galuska, rice = rizs, potatoes = burgonya/krumpli and gluten free = gluténmentes.

One restaurant to try in Szeged for a hearty bowl of fish soup is the Halász Csárda and our favorite restaurant in Budapest, Kiskakukk, offers a wide range of gluten-free options. All you have to do is ask if you are unsure! Try baked trout or baked duck with steamed vegetables or the more traditional stuffed cabbage or chicken paprikás.

Gluten-free is out there, but expect to find some dairy in your meal in the form of cheese or topped with sour cream. If you are searching for dessert, the best bet would be chestnut puree or challenge the idea of “dessert” and pack your own, perhaps a homemade granola bar with dried fruits, honey, seeds and nuts.

Never let being gluten-free stop you from travelling!

For more gluten-free adventures and inspirations of living a simple life find Cheryl, Csermely and Roland on their blog Handcraftedtravellers.

Do you live in Hungary or have you travelled there? Please share your experiences of eating gluten free.

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