Baja is one of the most characteristic Hungarian towns on the banks of the river Danube. The life of the small town built on the banks of the river and its tributary Sugovica has always been determined by the presence of water, and as a tourist center, it is an attractive domestic and foreign tourist destination. Its natural surroundings and architectural highlights result in the unique atmosphere of the town, home to nearly forty thousand people. Due to its climate, the vicinity of the rivers, the lovely main square, and the friendly nature of the inhabitants, this small town in the Bácska region welcomes guests with a Mediterranean atmosphere. Baja is known as the capital town of fish soup, where this local specialty is celebrated with a fabulous festival every July. It all began in 1996, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the town status of Baja, when instead of cooking in 300 kettles finally 400 kettles of fish soup were prepared. In 2000, two thousand kettles lined up in the town center, and the ardor did not diminish since then; approximately two thousand cooks (local and non-local alike) entertain their guests with delicious soup. To date, the festival has evolved into a four-day series of events but the highlight, the cooking is still held on Saturday.
Within Hungary, the highest amount of fish is consumed here. It might sound peculiar to anyone from afar that a celebration (or even ordinary days) can not be imagined without the fish soup. This riverside town has become world-renowned for the special dish made of freshwater fish, onions, ground red pepper, cherry pepper, and water, accompanied by so-called “matchstick noodles”.
Actually, the recipe is mighty simple, it is still made in the same way as it was invented by the ancestors, by the water millers of Baja. However, it is worth to pay attention to the proportions and making sure that the fire is constantly burning during cooking.