Hungarian grey cattle
Hungarian grey cattle – with its force of nature, prestigious and imposing appearance – is the symbol of hungarians. Its origin is still unclear, there are many theories in this regarding. It is accepted that there were so many of them living in the Carpathian basin for a couple of hundred years that they could became one of the main export products of the Hungarian Kingdom. As the grey cattle is very durable and has a strong constitution they could be driven on foot to distant fairs such the German, Italian and Austrian ones. Many noble families – Nadasdy, Zrínyi, Thököly – took part in cattle bussinness. Animals and their shepherds lifes strictly attached to one anonther as these people spent most of their times with the stock. The culture of shepherds still alive which is an important part of the hungarian cultural history. The breed was very popular until the 20th century, but then due to the mechanisation of the agriculture and the spread of other, better milk and meat producer varieties in the country, the grey cattle was basically doomed. A few brave and committed professionals collected the remaining animals saved grey cattle from disappiarence. The lowest point was in the 1960s. Since then there has been strong growth in the number of the breed, there are almost 400 breeders now. The biggest stock is in Hortobagy. Grey cattle spends most of the year on natural pastures, consumes natural feed and those herbs can be found in the Puszta, that provides the excellent and reliable quality and the unique flavour of its meat. Dishes from gray cattle meat can be found in restaurants but very rare at the supermarkets.