#23 – Traditional Slovakian Pig Butchery (& *all* the food!)

Slovak food is comfort food. It’s not light, it’s not summery, but in the winter – it’s peasant food. Food that sticks to your bones and gives you a lot of energy to work in the fields. It’s simple; there’s a limited repertoire of spices. A lot of them involve just very ordinary ingredients. – Naomi

Get your marjoram and paprika ready, because the long-anticipated pig butchery interview is here! In this episode, Alison sits down with Naomi, a Canadian-born photographer and home cook who has lived in, immersed in and documented Slovakia for the past 17 years. Naomi shares about the experience of traditional Slovakian pig butchery including unique recipes, the secret to non-liver-tasting-paté (!!!) and more. To indulge in Naomi’s incredible food photography and to find the recipes she mentions, check out the links in Resources!

Soup is a staple here. Traditionally, they had it every day for lunch. Naomi

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Going and living in a place is really the only way you get to learn that every place has it’s bonuses, but also every place has its frustrations as well. Alison

Time Stamps

You don’t actually need a lot of fancy equipment – a table, lots of knives, big things for mixing in. Naomi

01:17 What Naomi Ate

13:18 What Alison Ate

17:11 Introducing Naomi

17:25 How Alison met Naomi

18:43 Growing up in Canada

22:06 Life in Slovakia

23:50 Food in Slovakia and how it has changed

29:00 Do you miss Canada?

31:18 Let’s talk about Slovakian pig butchering!

34:04 The season for pig butchering

A fair amount of fruit schnapps is also consumed during this process, it’s an integral part of it! Naomi

36:25 Starting the pig butchering

39:40 The cutting

41:45 Lunch on butchering day

41:59 The organs: creating a traditional sausage

44:40 The underchin!

I absolutely heartily recommend having a go at those lard biscuit things! Alison

46:38 The lard and pagac (cracklin biscuits)

It’s a great winter food – it’s really full of energy and will keep you full for a long time. Naomi

53:25 The pig’s blood: black pudding and blood sausages

55:30 The taste of blood

This is something that doesn’t keep very well and it doesn’t freeze very well; so, they put it into bowls and share it with the neighbors. Naomi, sharing about black pudding

47:35 Headcheese

01:00:20 Nightfall

01:01:40 Dinner

01:02:50 The muscle meat

01:03:30 The secret to non-liver-tasting pate

01:04:30 Canned meat

01:04:44 The skin

01:07:00 Naomi’s favorite dish from the butchering

01:09:05 Cleaning up

01:10:41 Memories and looking to the future

01:21:00 If we want to make these recipes … where do we look?

01:22:25 An eBook on traditional Slovakian soups

01:22:55 A version of strapacki on the blog

01:25:30 Naomi’s favorite blog posts [under Slovakia or Recipes]

01:28:00 Naomi’s blog & Instagram

Resources Mentioned

Pretty much the toenails, and if we haven’t cleaned out the intestines then those too, get thrown away. Naomi

Naomi on Instagram

Anyone who gets excited by traditional recipes and beautiful photography, will want to have a look at your site. Alison

Potatoes, Bacon and Sauerkraut: Traditional Slovakian Dumplings (Strapačky)

If someone wants to start eating sauerkraut and it’s too strong for them, it’s a really good way to work into it. Naomi, talking about

Katie Bowman, movement specialist

Naomi’s Blog, Almost Bananas

A Slovak Pig Butchering Part I

Rice and Offal Sausages: Slovak Jaterničky

Mäkké Oškvarkové Pagáče: soft lard crackling biscuits

Best Beef Liver Pâté“This beef liver pâté recipe is delicious, thanks to an unexpected spice that magically does away with the liver taste. Even beef liver, which has a stronger taste, can be enjoyed by liver haters.”

How to Cook Brains: Slovak Mozgy

Offal Recipes on Naomi’s Blog

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