Made in Hungary—a title with which Hungary is home to some globally successful companies. Learn about Hungarian brands that have stood the test of time to become recognized as pioneers in their respective industries.
Pálinka is our number one short drink, our national brandy. It is distilled from indigenous fruits like apricot, plum, cherry or apple, sometimes sweetened with honey. Pálinka is a protected Hungarian brand since 2004. The production is strictly regulated: pálinka has to be made exclusively from fruits grown inside the borders of Hungary, and it also has to be mashed, distilled and bottled in the country. You can find different brands of pálinkas in any supermarkets, but home-made pálinkas are definitely the best. Its alcohol content is at least 40%, therefore we recommend this strong Hungarian spirit only for responsible drinkers!
Hand in hand with pálinka, Unicum is a special bitter liquor made of herbs and spices. Due to its high concentration of alcohol, it is served after a meal to aid digestion. If Unicum doesn’t help you, nothing else will. It is made according to a secret recipe since 1790, when a talented Jewish family named Zwack started the production. Unicum comes in three flavours: the original, the velvety plum taste, and the one with milder aromas labelled Unicum Next. For more information click on Unicum’s website or visit the Zwack Museum and Heritage Centre (1 Dandár Street, 1095 Budapest).
Tokaj-Hegyalja is located in Northeastern Hungary. This region has a long history of wine-making. Historical records show that vineyards had been established in Tokaj as early as the 12th century. There are six grape varieties in the Tokaj region, all white, permitted for Tokaji production. The most outstanding type of wine is Tokaji Aszú. It is a world-famous dessert wine made of “nobly” rotten berries. This wine can have a range of sweetness levels, which are distinguished on the bottle label by the number of “puttony”. The higher the puttony, the higher the wine’s residual sugar. If you are looking for a top-value Hungarian wine, Tokaji will give you a wine experience to remember.
Egri Bikavér meaning „Bull’s blood of Eger” is the most popular red wine of Hungary. As its name suggests it comes from the Eger wine region. In the “Valley of the Beautiful Women” (Szépasszonyvölgy) there are dozens of wine cellars side by side, serving the wines of the region. This world-famous red wine is a bland of several different grapes and has a beautiful deep ruby colour. Egri Bikavér goes well with tomato-based, chicken and pork dishes.
No offence, it is a candy! Negro, or as the slogan calls “the chimney sweep of the throat” is a Hungarian candy brand invented in 1925 by the Italian confectioner Pietro Negro living and working in Hungary. The throat drops are made of molasses (hence the black colour) and flavoured with menthol, honey, eucalyptus or blackcurrant. Every Hungarian has grown up with this candy and believe us: nothing else compares. In case of sore throat Negro beats the best drugstore-offered remedies.
Paprika is a red spice used in almost all Hungarian dishes. Paprika exists in sweet, noble-sweet and hot versions and you’d better check out which one you are buying at the supermarket as a souvenir to avoid unpleasant cooking performances at home. Erős Pista meaning “Strong Stevie” is a spicy paprika paste. It is also a popular paprika product in Hungary. If you are experimenting with traditional Hungarian foods like fisherman’s soup or goulash, feel free to put some paprika or Erős Pista in it.
For more than 150 years, the Pick Company has been creating their uniquely flavoured wintersalami. The company was founded in Szeged by the Pick family, the country’s largest pork processors. If you are not following a kosher diet, you should put a few slices of Pick salami into your sandwich or use it as pizza topping. Pick salami rods can be found in all shops but they export to 35 countries worldwide. Find out more about Pick’s meat products.
Marzipan is a delicious almond-flavoured sweet, which is often used both as the icing for cakes and as decoration. The most famous marzipan brand was established by Mátyás Szamos and Károly Szabó, two outstanding confectioners. There is a marzipan museum in Szentendre, near Budapest. You can learn about the art of marzipan-making and discover some of their masterpieces, such as a marzipan version of the Parliament building. You can see and taste marzipan in a lot of cafés and confectionery shops listed on Szamos marzipan’s website. Their amazing marzipan bonbons make a great gift. If you are a big fan of hand-made goodness, join one of their courses and make your own sweets.
Túró rudi is a delicious Hungarian dessert: yummy cream cheese inside, covered with crispy chocolate. This popular dairy snack comes in different sizes and flavours, it can be filled with apricot or strawberry jam. You can buy túró rudi in every store, even in the smallest shop on the corner. There is a list of brands producing túró rudi, but probably the “pöttyös” (polka-dot) brand is the absolute best-known. While Hungarians feel enthusiasm towards the túró rudi, it is not really successful abroad due to its pretty unusual taste. Do you dare taste one?
Zsolnay is a Hungarian manufacturer of porcelain, tiles and stoneware. The porcelain manufacture was established in Pécs in 1853 by Miklós Zsolnay and his son, Ignác. They were innovators in the pottery industry and developed a number of techniques unique to their company’s wares. One of these techniques is called Eosin glazing. The parameters of burning and the composition of raw materials are kept is secret, but the outcome is an iridescent, vividly-coloured masterpiece. Zsolnay is a true Made in Hungary brand, shipping worldwide from the USA to Russia. The company has several brand stores in Budapest, but their products are available in many antiques shops, too.
Tisza cipő is a traditional Hungarian shoe brand, established back in 1971. In the last ten years they opened a few stores in all big towns of Hungary and successfully regained the brand’s former glory. In Budapest you can find their shops at the Astoria and in WestEnd City Center, but you can shop online as well. Beside sneakers, they also sell bags, t-shirts and other accessories. Their products are long-lasting, durable and come in a variety of colours. If you check out Tisza cipő’s website, the simple design of their products instantly catches your eye. The quality of Tisza cipő is second to none, not only are they comfortable but attractive to look at.
LogMeIn is one of the innovative Hungarian startups. The company was founded in 2003 as a joint venture of a Hungarian and an American mastermind. The main offices are located in Boston and Budapest, but LogMeIn has 8 offices and over 800 employees worldwide. We can illustrate what they are doing through the company’s slogan: “simply connected.” Everything LogMeIn does is about connecting computers using or viewing one computer from another. The idea behind the product they are developing is that you can work form home by connecting to your workplace’s network remotely. Cool idea, isn’t it? Another key product of LogMeIn is a helpdesk: an IT person or a technician can log in and help you remotely by actually controlling your computer. LogIn to their website and learn more.
Prezi is another success story of the Hungarian startup community. It was founded in Budapest in 2009 by Peter Arvai, Péter Halácsy, and Adam Somlai-Fischer. These talented and very enthusiastic engineers developed a new kind of presentation tool. The idea that lies at the heart of the Prezi platform is functionality. You can create presentations without slides, you can organize your content within one frame, visualizing the connections and zooming into the details during your presentation. You can add pictures and links as well. The company has an office in San Francisco and Budapest, both of them comprising a hugely diverse team of talented people drawn from many different countries. Today Prezi has over 50 million users globally and attracts 55,000 new users every day. Now it is your turn. Get started.