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).


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.


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.


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

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