None. It’s SZALONNA in Hungarian and as it turns out, an unknown delicacy for foreign visitors.

Fungarian has had several third-generation American visitors of Hungarian origin and it’s always interesting to hear their stories about the strange habits of their Hungarian grandparents. Many of them were bemused to remember that their Grandma and Grandpa started the day with a shot of pálinka. Another thing that their grandparents craved was SZALONNA. Not bacon, but real tasty crude pork lard.

Szalonna and all other pork products have been a staple food in peasant communities for centuries. This dominance of pork in the Hungarian diet goes back to the times of the Ottoman occupation in the 16th-17th centuries, since pigs were the only animals the Turks did not expropriate.

At the market you can buy at least 10 different types of szalonna. The most common ones are:

Kenyérszalonna (so called bread-fat, salt matured, air dried, slightly smoked fat, usually eaten with fresh bread and onion slices)

KENYERSZALONNA

Fehér szalonna (white fat, salt matured and coated, air dried fat)

Csécsi or abált szalonna (garlic seasoned, boiled, paprika coated cheek)

CSECSI_SZALONNA

Erdélyi szalonna (garlic seasoned, boiled belly)

.

.

Mangalica szalonna (fat of the mangalitsa pig)

mangalica-fuestoelt-szalonna-szomor-felkg

Szalonna is a multi-purpose ingredient of the Hungarian diet including scrambled eggs with fried bread-fat (szalonnás rántotta), smoked fat used to accompany meat dishes like a piece of szalonna shaped like a cockscomb on top of cigánypecsenye (gypsy steak).

gypsy steak

But the main attraction is the Hungarian barbecue called SZALONNASÜTÉS, preferably sitting around a campfire holding huge chunks of szalonna and dripping the hot fat onto a piece of bread.

szalonnasutes

The word ‘szalonna’ is so deeply embedded in Hungarian mindset that it’s also a part of a proverb describing someone’s bad nature that cannot be changed, literally ‘a dog will never make good pork fat’ (kutyából nem lesz szalonna), a rough equivalent of ‘a leopard cannot change its spots’.

At request, we can always add a szalonna-tasting to any of our private tours. See http://fungarian.hu/fungarian-tours/