Budapest’s Christmas markets: winter made cosy and cool

From gingerbread to bubblegum marzipan, music boxes to blackcurrant rum punch, Hungary’s capital is a great festive shopping destination

When I think of Christmas markets I imagine glasses of steaming mulled wine, colourful woolly hats and wooden toys. I don’t think of roosters’ testicles floating in a red tomato broth. Why would I when my experience of Hungary stretches as far as the Gay Hussar in Soho, with its wild cherry soup and fish dumplings.

But Hungary is, of course, a landlocked, carnivorous country and, at this time of year, a cold one. Goulash served in a huge, hollowed-out bread roll, pigs’ knuckles with potato dumplings and sauerkraut, or fresh flat bread lathered in garlic sauce, sour cream and grated cheese is precisely the sort of heartening fare that is required for nippy alfresco shopping.

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