Getting my inner Hungarian on, Part 2

I bought kenyérszalonna online a few weeks ago. This is the extremely fatty bacon that Hungarians use on the barbecue in order to drip its fat on good bread (in our case, rye with seeds) to make a surprisingly tasty pre-dinner snack.

It sounds gross. When Mary Kay first came into our family she hesitated before even thinking of trying it. Once she did, she was hooked.

It is delicious. You put the grease on the bread and then place finely sliced vegetables on the bread and put more grease on over it.

I can see why the Hungarians ate this when they were out on the plains herding sheep. When it is cold and your body craves and needs fat to stay warm, this is the item. Unfortunately for us, we don’t have that excuse. As a kid, I remember that every family barbecue had this on the menu. Frankly, we could have used this on that very cold family campout!

I went online and found it from a site in Elizabeth, New Jersey, I paid $15 for a pound of it and its shipping was $14. A high price to pay for something you should not be eating. It was worth it.

I decided to use the fire pit. I had a lot of sticks dropped from the trees that I have collected for some time so I used them and then put in some hardwood. You allow the hardwood to turn to a charcoal-like consistency and then you try to slowly roast the scored fat on a stick so that the grease flows. You have to keep moving the fat while over the fire as it causes fires and we even had the szalonna itself catch fire.

It is not a fast process but it is amazing. When we were done, we each had a piece, MK preferring onions and green pepper, while I preferred simple onions. As a kid, I only had the grease on the bread.

We also took the pretty much-rendered piece of szalonna and cut it into bits and at that up.

Such comfort food, so bad for you but oh so good…

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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