Salo
Salo; often it has thin layers of meat
Alternative namesSlanina
Region or stateEurope
(Central, Southeastern, Eastern)
A slab of slanina aged in paprika from Hungary

Salo or slanina (Russian and Ukrainian: сало, Belarusian: сала, Hungarian: szalonna, Polish: słonina, Romanian: slănină, Bulgarian: сланина, Czech, Macedonian, Slovak, Serbo-Croatian and Slovene: slanina, Lithuanian: lašiniai) is a European food consisting of cured slabs of pork subcutaneous fat with or without skin and with or without layers of meat. It is commonly eaten and known under different names across Eastern and Southeastern Europe, and is traditional to multiple national cuisines in the region. It is usually dry salt or brine cured. The East Slavic, Hungarian and Romanian variety is sometimes treated with paprika or other seasonings, whereas the South and West Slavic version is often smoked.

The Slavic word "salo" or "slanina" as applied to this type of food is often translated to English as "bacon", "lard" or "fatback" in general, depending on context. Unlike bacon, salo contains more fat than lean meat and unlike lard, salo is not rendered. It is similar to Italian lardo, the main differences being the thickness of the cut (lardo is often sliced very thinly) and seasoning. East Slavic salo uses salt, garlic, black pepper and sometimes coriander in the curing process, while lardo is generally seasoned with rosemary and other herbs, which is also common in parts of Croatia and Slovenia.

Preservation

For preservation, salo is salted and sometimes also smoked and aged in a dark and cold place, where it will last for a year or more. The slabs of fat are first cut into manageable pieces, typically 15×20 cm. Then layers of fat slabs (skin side down) topped with one-centimetre layers of salt go into a wooden box or barrel for curing. For added flavouring and better preservation, the salo may be covered with a thick layer of paprika (usually in the more Western lands; in Russian salo with paprika is called "Hungarian"), minced garlic, or sometimes black pepper.[citation needed]

Culinary

Lašiniai, a Lithuanian type of salo
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Salo is consumed both raw and cooked. Salo is often chopped into small pieces and fried to render fat for cooking, while the remaining cracklings (shkvarky in Ukrainian, shkvarki in Russian, spirgai in Lithuanian, skwarki in Polish, čvarci in Serbo-Croatian, ocvirki in Slovene, škvarky in Czech, (o)škvarky in Slovak, jumări in Romanian, kõrned in Estonian, töpörtyű in Hungarian, пръжки or джумерки in Bulgarian) are used as condiments for fried potatoes or varenyky or spread on bread as a snack.

Chocolate salo

Main article: Chocolate salo

Salo in chocolate is a Ukrainian dish, created as a joke or experiment and produced since the late 90s.[1][2]

The recipe is thought to have originated in an ethnic joke about the Ukrainians' cult-like attitude towards salo, similar to the Italians' attitude towards spaghetti.[2]

Usage

Roasting Hungarian-style salo (szalonna) on the open fire

Salted salo can be stored long. It can be consumed without any preparation. For these reasons it is often used as a food supply by shepherds, hunters, backpackers, and other travellers, and was issued to German and Hungarian soldiers as part of their rations during World War II.[citation needed]

When salo has been aged too long or exposed to light, the fat may oxidize on the surface and become rancid, yellow and bitter-tasting. Though no longer fit for culinary use, the spoiled fat can be used as a water-repellent treatment for leather boots or bait for mouse traps, or it can simply be turned into homemade soap.[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ К 1 апреля украинцы сметают с полок магазинов "сало в шоколаде"
  2. ^ a b Chapple, Amos (8 May 2019). "Ukraine's Pig-Fat Chocolate". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 26 February 2023.