Ukrainian Gourmet: Smoked Salo

WARNING: This post is not kosher on any day of the year.

My imaginary friend Moxie Mama wants to celebrate her 1/4 Ukrainian heritage by eating what real Ukrainians eat. Well, that’s real simple and no cooking required to boot. Ukrainian National Food is salo which is non-rendered pork fat. There is nothing like a thick slice of salo with a piece of rye bread rubbed with garlic. The only thing better than regular salt-cured salo is smoked salo and just for saying that I expect a mob of angry quarter-Ukrainians attack me with pitch-forks (which is Ukrainian national weapon). Salo is usually salt-cured and can be kept outside of the fridge for a long time. Smoked salo doesn’t have the same shelf-life but it has tender buttery texture with a more delicate,slightly smokey taste and chewy skin if you are lucky to get it. (Sorry I had to run to the fridge and take a bite).

salo

In Kansas City you can satisfy all of your salo-eating needs at the Russian Store, which coincidentally carries real-tasting rye bread. For an alternative for ethnically-challenged, head on over to Fritz’s Smoked Meats around 106th and State Line in Leawood, where I procured some smoked salo (ask for smoked bacon, they are Germans) just yesterday. The difference between this bacon and some crap in a vacuum packaging at the grocery store is that it doesn’t contain any unknown liquid (WTF is that anyway- formaldehyde or something?). Your friendly employee will slice it from a giant slab right in front of you. (Sorry I am off for another bite). DO NOT order it sliced thin, go with the medium or thick. I have a feeling that some synagogue is obtaining a restraining order against me as I type this. Well, if God didn’t want us to eat salo…, you know the rest.

salo

Your next step is to obtain rye bread. American people between the coasts have been deprived of real bread and forced to eat who knows what, albeit sliced. We have to hunt the bread down. Baking it is not so hard, but generally you can’t go wrong with Farm-to-Market bread CO (Hen House on 135th and Metcalf bakes it fresh) or pick up a loaf at the Russian Store. There are few places like this one and others where you can obtain normal crusty bread.

You are all set. Get your favorite bottle of vodka from the fridge, peel yourself some garlic (rub it on the bread crust,see that’s why you needed the crust), pour yourself a shot and take a bite of your sandwich. Your Ukrainian Grandma would be proud.

salo

After a shot or three, listen to this song. You’ll notice you can now understand the words.
Na Zdorov’e!

More Photos

  • 🙂 Thanks Meesha…my grandma can rest in peace knowing her grandaughter can finally cook.

    I’ll get totally trashed on vodka this weekend and report back about the deeper meanings of that video.

    Fritz’s is pretty close to me, but I thought they served German food for some reason. I’ll explore and report back.

    BTW…you’re a great imaginary friend for helping me out!

  • Fat City

    From the wikipedia article almost sounds like it’s the spam of Ukraine.

  • Brian

    Thanks for the post Misha… European delights is definitely the best salo in town. I like it with young garlic or green onions.

    My wife (i3 XAPbKOB) and I had a Ukrainian-style dinner with some friends about a month back, and everyone loved the salo… that and the salads, Ukrainian crab salad is some of the best stuff on Earth. maybe I’ll post the recipe on my blog soon… But of course you’ve got to use the Russian mayo, that makes all the difference…

  • midtown miscreant

    Did you not COOK that? Good God man, you’ll get wormy.

  • It’s smoked like a smoked turkey or a fish

  • midtown miscreant

    i tried to smoke a fish once, couldnt keep it lit.

  • Дмитрий (настоящий ХАХОЛ)

    Those pictures are not salo, salo contains no meat, nice pictures of store bought bacon though.

    • This is the best I can do here.

      • GLW

        You can get true salt cured salo at European Delights in the SW corner of 95th and Antioch.

  • guest

    salo, real salo has nothing to with what you show and describe. It’s just salted pig fat, not smoked. there’s no meat layers in it.