>> Hungarian Meat Center | Eat the World NYC

09 September 2019

Hungarian Meat Center

HUNGARY 🇭🇺

Wander into the small Hungarian Meat Center on a weekend, and the intensity of cured meat hits you at the door. Most places are markets that sell meat, but it is clear that this small Passaic business, open since 1988 by the same family, is worthy of the title of "center." Their website, www.kolbasz.com, is the Hungarian word for sausage. While they may seem unassuming, this place comes to play.

Since all the meats have been dried and/or smoked already, the smells of the center are outstanding and addictive. Walk in when things are freshest on a Saturday and you might be introduced to paprika szalonna, a luscious cut of smoked pork fatback that is bright red from paprika, Hungarian salami and head cheese, and of course fresh kolbasz which hangs from behind the counter.


The shop also carries a large selection of Hungarian and Eastern/Central European candies and drinks. The racks are fun to peruse for the perfect snack to satisfy a sweet tooth after meals nearby.

On weekends they also receive fresh loaves of poppy seed and walnut filled breads known as beigli, hugely popular around Christmas in Hungary but here available all year round.


Mákos beigli ($8.50, above and below) is what they call a poppy seed strudel, about 35 centimeters in length and full of poppy seeds and sugar. A spiral is revealed when you cut through the thick crust, a lovely moist and sweet bread hidden within. The walnut (diós) version is similar in a lighter tone.

If you are ever fortunate enough to be invited into a Hungarian's home for the holidays, you will likely see the two served side by side.



Open the freezer and find Fenom (below), a chocolate covered cheese dessert that Hungarians grow up with. Before eating, let it start to warm up just a bit, so the chocolate gets melty on your fingertips. Talk about them long enough with someone who has childhood memories, and eventually they will try to convince you of all the health benefits involved as well.

Either way, it might just be the perfect dessert after a heavy meal.


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