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Goose fever in Budapest

We went completely mad, and went looking for the best geese in town. Besides discovering the most delicious dishes we learnt what has Martin got to do with geese, and what is a discogoose doing in Kálvin Square.

We get it that whereever you go in Budapest you see goose statues and every restaurant tweaks its menu with dishes made of goose but come on, how did this respect towards this poultry come to life?

What follows is an account of stories and beliefs we didn’t know of before and places where it’s recommended to grab some bites of goose.The Martin-story Saint Martin was born in the territory of the Roman Empire near present-day Szombathely in 316 AD. He left the army after some time of service and became a missionary. Later he was appointed bishop of Tours but his humility didn’t let him to accept the title and he hid in the goose shed. The geese, however, betrayed the saint with their gaggling, and he “had no choice” but to become a bishop. That’s why Martin’s name is interwoven with geese and around 11 November almost all of Europe celebrates Martin with parades and feasts.

Eat goose on the day of Martin, unless you want a year of starving” – or where does the Feast of St. Martin originate from?

The root of the Feast can be found in peasant traditions. The first written documents date back from 1171, at what time St. Martin’s Day marked the end of the peasant year. This is when the servants received their earnings and a goose, too, as the flock of fattened geese had to be decimated before the coming of winter. So on this day feasts were given all over the country because it was believed that the more they ate on this day the healthier and stronger they’d be the next year.

What has the new wine, Martin and geese got to do with each other?Must ferments into wine by November, and in the larger wine regions Martin is the patron saint of wine. On 11 November the barrels were opened, and the curative wine of Martin could be consumed besides fresh fried goose.If ……. on Martin’s Day – beliefs and superstitions, or what is to be heeded on 11 November?

  • St. Martin’s Day was a day of no work. People weren’t supposed to clean the house, or wash or hang clothes because it meant the death of the lifestock.
  • The bones from Martin’s Day goose were used to predict the weather: if the bones were white and long, winter would be snowy, if it was brown and short, winter would be muddy.
  • They made predictions from the current weather, too: “If Martin arrives on a white horse, winter will be mild, if he arrives on a brown horse, winter will be rough.”
  • “If the geese tread on ice on Martin’s Day, at Christmas will they in water wade.”
  • If the leaves of the grape are still green on Martin’s Day, the winter will surely be mild, and if it rains on this day, next year’s harvest will be plentiful, too.
Menus and dinners of geese in the city:In what follows you can read about the restaurants offering the best and most special menus of geese:

The restaurant of A38: you can try the St. Martin’s Day dishes between 9 and 16 November.
WLB favorites: Goose soup with saffron and matzo dumplings, Grilled breast of goose and liver with krautfleckerl.

Bock Bistro: Goose dishes are served from the week starting on 7 November.
WLB favorites: Goose soup with "ravioli" filled with goose meat, Grilled foie gras with cuttlefish and black bean.
Complete menu and further info here.

At Alabárdos a menu full of goose dishes awaits the guests.
WLB favorites:

Goose liver cake with quince apple and beetroot variations, Roasted leg of goose and smoked goose sausage with lentils, sunchoke and marinated purple onion.
From 10 to 12 November.

Sarki Fűszeres: It’s recommended to come here on Friday, as the goose menu contains a glass of the new wine of Vylyan, Bogyólé (berry juice). Besides the menu, Anthony Hwang, the owner of Királyudvar Pincészet, gives an open wine tasting where visitors can give a try to three of the winery’s fine wines.
WLB favorites: Chestnut cream soup with goose greaves, Foie gras mellowed in Tokaji Ilona Cuvée with milk loaf.

At Vörös Postakocsi you can take part in the Goose Dinner starting from 6 PM on 10 November. The menu of new wines is made up of Bodri wines.
WLB favorites: Oven-roasted goose stuffed with apples-orange-ginger, St. Martin’s sholet-beans with smoked goose meat.

A goose has been slaughtered at Melba Restaurant and Marina too, and goose dishes will be offered for a week.

WLB favorites: Goose liver créme brülée with pear, Foie gras with pear rösti and cognac sauce.

57 restaurant presents its own dishes of goose between 9 and 16 November.
WLB favorites: Grilled foie gras carpaccio, Whole foie gras fried with kaiserschmarrn and hot sour cherry.

At Borkonyha goose goodies have been served for some time, here’s a couple of the many delicacies: WLB favorites: goose gizzard jelly, Pastry stuffed with tongue of goose served with sauerkraut.Liba bites:Between 12 AM and 7 PM on 11 November you can taste goose for free at the following places thanks to the Baromfi Termék Tanács (Poultry Product Committee):
Negro (5th district, 11 Szent István Square) Noir et L’Or (7th district, 17 Király Street) Suszterinas (8th district, 31./a József Boulevard) Vörös Postakocsi (9th district, 15 Ráday Street) Európa Kávéház (5th district, 7-9 Szent István Boulevard) Wine and Coffee (6th district, 15 Andrássy Avenue) Arena Corner (11th district, 76 Bartók Béla Road) Sarki Fűszeres (13th district, 53-55 Pozsonyi Road)Goose programs:On 12 and 13 November you can participate in a multitude of programs related to geese and new wine at the Szentendrei Skanzen. No matter whether you are young or older, with family, significant other or without both, you can have a taste of the geese and the experiences too. Many ideas and recipes of goose dishes await you, not to mention the sampling. Apart from the culinary experiences you can listen to tales about geese, play with board games related to geese, try your luck in the goose-lottery, and take part in the competition of flatfooted.

So goose up ‘cause you can’t escape it this weekend anyways, and it’s not advisable, either.

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