Gulyás didn't start out as the heady, richly red stew we all know and love today. This formerly humble shepherd's soup likely dates back to the 9th century, in the earliest days of the nation's history. Gulyá translates literally to a herd of cows, and gulyás are the herdsmen. Traveling in groups of five or six, the gulyás would herd their famous long-horned grey cattle around their 36,000-square-mile, landlocked terrain, selling them off, keeping leaner cattle for themselves. The meat would be spiced, cooked, and dried, then stored in a bag made from sheep's stomach before their journeys, creating a portable meal that needed only water to rehydrate. The herdsmen might supplement the soup with the long-storage ingredients they carried in their saddlebags—onions, cured bacon, or lard—and stir it together in large cast-iron cauldrons, or bogrács, over an open fire. If they lost a head of cattle to illness, or had a fortuitous run-in with a wild boar, they would kill it, and add the meat to the pot—enriching their stew.