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Goulash with Jupiter Gergics

A traditional Hungarian stew brings together Jupiter Gergics’ family and friends.
Goulash with Jupiter Gergics
 Spoonfuls of fiery paprika, bowls teeming with hearty stew and late-night bonfires are all things that come to mind when Jupiter Gergics thinks of Hungarian food. And out of the dozens of traditional Hungarian dishes they could choose from, Gergics’ favorite is goulash.

Goulash is a stew containing carrots, potatoes, bits of meat and a richly seasoned broth: a dish that Gergics and many other Hungarian families consider to be a household staple.

“If I went to a fancy restaurant, where everything was perfectly chopped, and they served me goulash, I don’t think I’d want it, ” Gergics said. “There is something special about it being homemade.”

Gergics’s family will often get together with their Hungarian friends and make goulash together. They will crowd into the kitchen and each be assigned a job whether that is chopping vegetables, making the spice blend or minding the pot. They will even start a bonfire and bring the cooking outdoors.

It is during these get-togethers that Gergics will stay huddled around the fire late into the night. They will roast sausages and ham, spread leftover grease over crusty rinds of bread and drink cup after cup of goulash, letting it fill their insides with a comforting warmth.

“Almost every time that we get together with our friends or family, we share a meal,” Gergics said. “It’s just nice to sit and chat and make a pot of goulash. It is something that brings us together.”

At this point, Gergics has watched goulash be made hundreds of times. And slowly, they have started to commit the process to memory. But whenever they ask their parents for the recipe — so it can be written down for future reference — they are left without an answer.

This lack of specificity only adds to the rusticness of the recipe. As they dump chunks of carrots and potato into a pot, they measure with feeling, not a measuring cup. And this is the same for many other Gergics family recipes, developed simply by spending time in the kitchen.

“Whenever I think about Hungarian food, I picture things being randomly thrown into a pot. I picture an open fire and fresh bread and meat,” Gergics said.  “But mostly, I picture my family.”

For Gergics, goulash has become more than a cup of soup. Amongst the carrots and potatoes, the soup is filled with sweet memories and time well spent with family and friends.

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About the Contributor
Nina Tinney, Journalist
Nina is a junior and is entering her third semester on staff. When she's not writing articles, you can find her dancing ballet, perusing old magazines or baking cookies. She is passionate about sharing other peoples' stories and can't wait to see all the amazing work that will be done this year.

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