Friday, July 12, 2013

Сало - Pig Back Fat


Сало.
Pig fat.
Wait.. what?

Welcome to Košice, Slovakia.

In Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, and pretty much all over this area, they consider salo (cало) to be like liquid gold - the most delicious of spreads. They love it slathered on there bread and cooked with vegetables.

I'd heard about salo well before I went to Ukraine. I was curious and was hoping, hoping it would taste like eating butter that's totally bacon. That would be bliss.

Russia came and passed -- no Salo.
I saw salo in Ukraine but never bought it- I couldn't get myself to buy a chunk of lard.

But then, in Slovakia, one of my dear Couchsurfing hosts said he had some, 'cept he called it something that wasn't salo, it was local Slavik dialect.

And, oh man, this salo was legit. I want to type that in capital letters - LEGIT!

This was as legit-of-salo as you can get. This was a happy, healthy pig which means happy, "healthy" salo. I've been told that the salo in the grocery stores isn't worth even being touched.

See, his family buys a cow from their farmer-friend every year. Then, the family uses every part of the pig up. "Very cheap," he explained to me. The salo is the fat from the back of a pig. They sell slabs of it at the local market.

As I put it on my bread, he further explained that this was something he always, always ate with his grandparents, growing up. Salo to the Slovakians is like peanut butter and American to the Americans.

I got a pickle in one hand and my bread with salo and salt in the other, just as I was instructed to do.

I took a bite...

And...

It didn't taste like bacon butter. Sigh. Super-sigh.
It tasted ok -- nothing too remarkable, though. It wasn't enough for me to need to dig in with a spoon. It was fat -- sort of tasteless fat. Slight taste, but nothing like bacon.

Ok, I was stuck on the bacon-idea. I had my hopes up high.

So salo. Would I eat it again? If it was served, sure.
Will I seek it out? Don't feel a need to.
Am I grateful I got to try it?
Certainly.

Sheep-cheese with sausage, though... that I would eat again (even if my body does fully reject it the next day).

1 comment:

  1. oh, bacon spread sounds too tasty for words, never mind. Nice photos : )

    ReplyDelete

Your words make me grin.

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