The Great Gulyas (Goulash) Cook-Off

The Great International Gulyas (Goulash) Cook-Off
June 21, 2009

The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Gardens sponsored a Goulash cook-off as a fund-raiser to support the renovation of the Garden.

Carolyn Balogh, Chairman of the Hungarian Cultural Garden says that after the garden celebrated its 70th year in 2008, a five year plan was put into place. The plan is to rebuild and renovate the garden in "the same pattern that was developed and executed in 1938."

Marika Megyimori and Carolyn Balogh and Hungarian strudel

Marika Megyimori and Carolyn Balogh

The Cook-Off was at Saint Emeric, a Hungarian Catholic Church on West 22nd.

Saint Emeric Hungarian Church in Cleveland Ohio

Goulash gulyas cookoff at Saint Emeric church

Goulash or Gulyas is too thick and hearty to be considered a soup and is a little thin to be considered a stew. It is usually made with beef, but veal and pork are not uncommon. Marika Megyimori even adds sauerkraut to her goulash, which is typical of the Szekely region, otherwise known as Transylvania.

Serving Hungarian Goulash

Goulash may have potatoes or noodles, carrots and other vegetables. But what makes goulash different than any other food is the spicing - and that comes mainly from Hungarian paprika. (Not to be confused with Spanish paprika which is somewhat smokier and less intense.)

Hungarian Goulash gulyas

A large cauldron known as a bogracs is used for the preparation.

Making Hungarian Goulash

In addition to goulash the group offered Pogacsa (a biscuit made with bacon rendering), Langos (fried bread) and a choice of apple or cherry strudel.

Hungarian strudel

Judging was based on color, texture and taste. There were two categories: People's Choice and Judges Choice.

Winner of the People's Choice was John Megyimori, while the winner of the Judge's choice was Istvan Hargatai.

Hungarian Cultural Center

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash cookoff volunteers

Hungarian man

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