Forest Foods | About Us
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About Us

Hungary sits in the Carpathian Basin in the middle of Europe. One of the continent’s oldest countries, it is has given us Tokay, Paprika, Harry Houdini, Bela Bartok and the Rubiks Cube. It is also the home of the Gyulay family.

Nearly a quarter of the country remains forest, and the forest has played a special part in the lives of the Gyulays, who now live in Budapest. From the time he was a young boy, Sebestyen Gyulay spent time in the forests with his grandfather, mushrooming and learning about the symbiotic relationships between organisms and natural forest fruits. His family has always been rich with respect and understanding of the ways of Mother Nature.

With his knowledge of the cycles of the forest and his network of foragers, Sebestyen has become a leading source of the most beautiful, wild harvested ingredients from the depths of Hungary’s forests. Having extensive experience and knowledge of sourcing wild ingredients in ways beneficial to the environment as well as for eaters, Sebestyen now specialises in cleaning, grading, packing and shipping these  ingredients in compliance with EU accredited processes − to Australia, Great Britain, the USA, Japan and throughout Europe.

Sebestyen’s collaboration with Simon Friend of Friend and Burrell, ingredient distributors based in Melbourne, Australia) began when he contacted in 2012 expressing an interest in moving Hungarian truffles into Australia. Under Simon’s guidance he became expert in the grading, packaging and compliance requirement of exporting this delicate food. Looking to broaden Sebestyen’s offering, Simon travelled to Budapest in 2016 and met the Gyulay family. He travelled with them to meet a man who was licensed to harvest wild mushrooms in a 1000 square kilometre allotment of forest.

The relationship with Simon and the Marshall family (truffle producers of Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia) is built on respect for forest ecology; the importance of rigorous grading processes; and a love of the unique, irreplaceable flavours and textures of minimally, or beneficially, processed wild foods.

Highest Grade Treasures

The highest grade wild chanterelle mushrooms and “bouchon” porcini mushrooms, as well as the king of the fruits of the forest, the beautiful wild blueberry − these are the treasures of Sebestyen’s agroforestry. When nature allows during the European autumn, Sebestyen also sources the beautiful white truffle − the “trifola d’Alba Madonna” (“Truffle of the White Mother”), famously found in Alba in Piedmont, northern Italy, and naturally fruiting in Hungarian national parks and forests. The mighty Tuber Magnatum winter variety remains resistant to human cultivation; perfect wild treasures, which have mystified and intoxicated human beings, and certain animals, since ancient times, with their warm fragrance and earthy, musky, pungent complexity.