April 8, 2012
For years I heard about the Eastern Slovak Easter tradition of hrudka. I heard much about it, but I could never get anyone to make it for me out of season. “Come visit around Easter time” was always the answer. Sure enough, when I came to visit there was always some excuse for why the hrudka was inacessible – it had all been eaten, the recipe didn’t turn out right, we didn’t make it this year, I’ve come too early, I’ve come too late.
Over time I would come to wonder if such a thing as hrudka even existed, because for 8 long years I tried to taste hrudka but had no luck.
Numerous writers have written on the topic of longing. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” goes a popular English folk phrase. “Hunger is the best sauce” wrote Cervantes. The more I couldn’t have hrudka, the more I wanted hrudka. Then finally, last Easter, a professor from the East of Slovakia decided to take pity on this desperate American and to teach him the recipe for the lowly hrudka. It was no doubt a joke that something so simple and something so commonplace in her family had become something that a person would work so hard to taste. And I finally tasted it.
This recipe has appeared on 52 Weeks in Slovakia before, but it took so much effort to get someone to teach me to make it that I figured it was worth posting once more.
Here’s a link to the original article on the elusive hrudka, complete with photos and a recipe.
Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time travelling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.