Hungaricums – the specific Hungarian Products

Rubik's Cube a Hungarikum

Rubik's Cube ©

Earlier we wrote about the most famous Hungarian food and drinks, also belonging to the group of special Hungarian products, but the hardly definable does not exclusively include food and drinks, there are also some other items Hungarians are proud to call their own.

Below you will find some of my favorites from among the non-food Hungaricums, you might even have heard of some, like the Rubik’s Cube, the Beres Drops or the Zsolnay Porcelain. If you know about other products you think should be on the list, please let me know, I would be glad to learn about more specialties and add them to my favorites.  

The finest porcelain

Zsolnap porcelain tea set, Hungary

Zsolnay tea set ©

Hungary has not one, but two world famous porcelain manufacturers, both creating amazing work-of-art ceramics for everyday use or as decorations. The Herendi Porcelain is the largest porcelain factory in the world with a past of more than 180 years. It opened in 1826 as a small workshop of a few employees, but today the hard-paste porcelain products are the favorites of royal families, celebrities and businessmen from Queen Victoria of England to the Rothschild family.

Herend’s rival, the Zsolnay Porcelain was ‘only’ established in 1853 and runs as a family business ever since. They won the golden medal of the Vienna World Exhibition in 1873 and are making amazing things out of ceramics ever since. Their colored ceramic tiles ornate the dome of the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest and the main gate of the Budapest Zoo.

Lace and embroidery

Tablecloth with Kalocsa Embroidery

Kalocsa Embroidery ©

Porcelain is not the only product that draws attention with its beauty of high standard, lace and embroidery are also some of the specialties of  some Hungarian regions. Since its appearance during the turn of the 20th century, the Halas Lace has become a very important part of Hungarian folk art. This entirely hand made wonder is also the winner of many prizes on different World Exhibitions and a worthy rival of Brussels or Venice Lace.

Kalocsa Embroidery is a beautiful example of what folk art is so appreciated for, it uses patterns and bright shade colors freely and prefers small and large flowers as motifs.

Logic and medicine

Beres Drops, Hungarian specialty

Bered Drops ©

There are two more items I hold dear among Hungarian ‘inventions’, one is a world famous one-man game, Rubik’s Cube, first created in 1975 by Rubik Ernő. The Cube is a logic game, each side having different colors; by turning the sides we can create more than 43 million different combinations, the goal is to restore the original – one color per side – state of the cube.

My other top product is the Béres Drops (Béres Csepp in Hungarian), a nutrition supplement made of many herbs, kind of a miracle cure for any illness and an amazing immune system strengthener.


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