This subject comes up most often if you want to give someone a unique or very Hungarian gift or experience. In fact, a Hungarikum is a collective concept denoting the outstanding achievements of our country and a quality trademark at the same time: a distinction that fills all Hungarians with pride. These products, services, phenomena and properties signify a feature, uniqueness, personality and distinctiveness that are characteristic of Hungarians, while conveying values that are important for the entire nation. Let’s see some examples that will help you grasp what a Hungarikum is. A couple of these come from the field of agriculture and the food industry, because Hungary has historically always been an agricultural region, so a lot of our values come from there. And a couple of others from the hospitality category, because you’ve probably encountered these before.
One half of the country will immediately think of Pick salami upon hearing the word wintersalami. This is like when a whole product category is identified by a brand name. As with Polaroid, Rotring or Nescafé, or with Kleenex, which is equivalent to paper tissues in other parts of the world. This is exactly what Pick from Szeged is like, which is no longer wintersalami, just plain salami.
The unique recipe and seasoning of this classic was developed by Márk Pick at the end of the 19th century and is kept secret to this day. The pork meat and bacon in it are cut and not minced so as not to damage the tissues. The taste of the cold-smoked, dry-matured salami sticks, stuffed only into casings made from natural ingredients, is truly unique, and the characteristic noble mould coating renders it unmistakable on the outside.