Great Goulash and a Very Slovak Scandal

Delights and Surprises at the Annual Goulash Competition in Markušovce

Greetings, fellow food enthusiasts! Yesterday was a day filled with savoury surprises as Izzy and I embarked on a culinary adventure in Markušovce. We were invited to be part of the jury for a goulash cooking competition, and let me tell you, it was a feast for the senses. Alongside us was our dear friend, Addy Akram, a seasoned food lover and critic.

Diverse Creations in Goulash Wonderland

The air was alive with anticipation as we stepped into the vibrant world of goulash variations. Nine talented teams brought their creations to the table, each a unique representation of this hearty and comforting dish. Some were bold and robust with a rich, dark gravy that enveloped the senses. Others were lighter, more akin to a delicious soup. Some had carrots, others tomatoes. One or two were a little on the salty side, while others were sweeter, with perhaps a hint of barbecue.

Some of the delicious goulash we tasted

A Twist in the Tale: The Vegan Victor

We tasted each goulash (sometimes several times!), assigned them marks from one to nine, and then waited with baited breath as the totals were tallied. Imagine our surprise when the sole vegan entry emerged as the winner, sending shockwaves through the competition! While it wasn’t my first choice, it was certainly in my top three, and I was very impressed by the depth of its flavours.

This plant-powered masterpiece was an incredible combination of mushrooms and beans served up in a wonderfully complex sauce. It was a dish that managed to capture the essence of goulash in a twenty-first century format, offering a symphony of tastes that left an indelible mark on our taste buds.

Screenshot from HBO’s Girls

A Taste Worth Revisiting

Kudos to the organisers for bringing together this eclectic collection of goulash variations that celebrated the diversity of flavours and techniques. And a heartfelt thank-you to our dear friend Addy Akram, whose discerning palate and company added an extra layer of enjoyment to the event.

As we left Markušovce with satisfied bellies and content hearts, I couldn’t help but reflect on the power of innovation and creativity in the culinary world. The vegan goulash had shattered preconceived notions, proving that sometimes the most unexpected paths lead to the most remarkable experiences.

Until next time, keep exploring, keep experimenting, and keep delighting in the wonderful world of food. Who knows what delightful surprises might await your taste buds just around the corner?

Stay hungry for adventure!

This blog was written by James with a little help from ChatGPT, which, it turns out, is pretty good! And the photos are Addy’s 🙂 Check out more posts from the Belly of Blore

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