Hungarian Festival Brings Culture and Cuisine to Sarasota

Over the weekend the city of Sarasota, FL hosted it’s 7th annual Hungarian Culture Festival at the Ringling fairgrounds.

Admission was $10 to enter the festival where visitors got to experience a little piece of Hungary. Food vendors sold items made in Hungary or made especially for Hungarian cuisine including a number of Hungarian pastries, dried and deli meats, regional spices and produce. If a visitor wasn’t interested in buying ingredients there was also food being served at the event.

A group of older Hungarian women worked beneath a long white tent to prepare and serve a number of traditional Hungarian dishes. Food choices included pastas and mashed potatoes, wiener schnitzel, pork and sauerkraut, Hungarian meatloaf, lecho, and a handful of other foods. Visitors were also offered a variety of Hungarian beers on draft and Hungarian wines. Entrance to the festival included a ticket for a free drink.

Tables with green, red, and white tablecloths (the colors of the Hungarian flag) were set up for patrons to eat as though they were in a dining hall. At the far end of the tables there was a stage where groups of musicians performed traditional and modern Hungarian music. One band performed traditional songs with an upright bass, two violins, and a cello. A DJ played club music with Hungarian lyrics.

A raffle was held and prizes donated by local Hungarian business were given away including a couple bottles of wine, t-shirts, and books on the country of Hungary.

The atmosphere of the event was one of jovial celebration as the people of Sarasota got to know what it was like to be Hungarian, if only for a day.

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