Don’t Stir The Gulas

Natural Food Preservation

August 2, 2017

Allan Stevo

A seldom recognized tidbit related to guláš is that guláš comes with a built-in preservative.

In these modern times you might freeze your guláš to make it last longer or you might put it in a really cold refrigerator.  Let’s envision a time pre-refrigeration, though, where guláš might be stored outside, in a cellar, on a windowsill, or perhaps even in a cold body of water.

The fat in the guláš rises to the top and sometimes even forms a solid layer if it gets cool enough. The layer of fat (either liquid or solid) that rises to the top keeps the oxygen out.  It keeps the air above away from the goodness below.  It’s especially important to keep the air away from the meat because meat can be so easily perishable.  If you don’t do that, the guláš will begin to kysnúť, as Slovaks say – it will begin to turn sour.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at 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.

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