6.01.2009

Pivo and Pork!

Pork Fat and Onion: a snack
Ventured to Slovakia this last weekend. Most excellent. Most most excellent. First, let me say I stayed with a friend of mine who was there on vacation with her family. I should also add that she's from Slovakia. That completely changed the experience from what it could have been at some hotel in the Old Town area. I got out into the suburbs (1960s Soviet era GIANT housing complexes), she took me to meet her family and friends, and was an all-around excellent host.

Two words: pivo and pork. Pivo = beer. Pork = (for our purposes) pork fat. Saturday night I went with my friend and her fam to visit her cousin. They started things off with a delicate aperitif which was, in fact, a gin-like drink that had only been distilled once and was 52% alcohol. It could put some hair on your chest (if you're after that kind of thing) if you drank too much of it. Pivo was, of course, on hand as a chaser. But it was all worth it when we got to the food: stuffed cabbage leaves in this this soup-like paprika broth. Delicious. So so good. Real stick-to-your-ribs peasant food (Hungarian peasant food, more specifically). After dinner we gathered in the living room to chat more, drink more pivo, and hang out. The pork fat (a specialty of sorts) was mentioned earlier in the evening, as my friend's husband had told me all about it earlier in the day. The cousin's husband disappeared for a spell, then poked his head in the room and told us to come with him........ sitting at the table was a plate of delicately sliced pork fat. Like bacon fat without any of the meat. Accompanying this delicacy was thinly-sliced onion, and bread. When in Rome... well, I'd like to say I hesitated at the thought of stuffing straight-up pork fat into my mouth, but that would be a lie. I ate freely. And enjoyed every minute of it. Slovakia is not a place for vegetarians. I'm also pleased to report that the combined aspects of the not-quite gin drinking, pivo drinking, and pork fat eating meant I made a favorable impression on the family.

Ah, the pork fat.

My visit really was wonderful. Aside from the great food I was able to really see little glimpses of life there, not just your typical tourist stuff.

old town alley

3 comments:

matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
matt said...

Sounds like you had a great time. and the food sounded a lot more interesting than the Bacon flavored vodka i saw on the news the other day.

boxfactoryboy said...

Sounds like a great time and kudos to you for attempting the local cuisine! When I was in sweden I have to admit I passed on the lutefisk.