Hungary is a country roughly the size of Indiana, a landlocked place squished between Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine, Croatia, and Serbia. Because of its location—as well as the complex history of border changes, wars, and occupations in this part of Europe—Hungarians have always heavily shared and borrowed recipes and ingredients: garlic, onions, and pasta arrived when Hungary's King Mátyás married Italy's Beatrice of Naples in the 15th century; paprika, made from ground sun-dried chiles, was introduced when Turks invaded the country in the 16th century. Today the spice is one of the pillars of local cooking. Under Austrian rule in the 18th century, there was a great flowering in Hungarian cookery, from agriculture all the way up to imperial cuisine. It peaked under the Austro-Hungarian empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when chefs from France cooking for the court applied refined culinary techniques to traditional Hungarian dishes. This all amounted to a unique and layered cuisine. Things changed, though, in the 20th century, when under communism Hungarian businesses were nationalized and restaurant culture was all but wiped out. But the bones of the cuisine survived in the home-cooked dishes that had been here for centuries—simple, deeply flavored foods built on fat, onions, and paprika—enduring in the kitchens of women who kept culinary traditions alive, passing them down from grandmother to mother to child.