January 12, 2018

Allan Stevo

Oškvarky are made by cutting blocks of fresh pork fat into 1 inch cubes and cooking in a cauldron over a fire, constantly stirring until the lard has been rendered and the solid part of the fat and meat has turned into a crispy brown. Oškvarky can be enjoyed salted on their own as a high energy, crispy finger food, but can also be ground and used in traditional dishes such as pomazanka (spread for bread) and for pagac. See pagac recipe.

Crackling is technically the correct translation of oškvarky into English, but if you grew up in Chicago in the 1980’s, there is a nine out of ten chance that the word “crackling” means nothing to you. I find “crsipy pork fat” to be a better translation, because words need to have meaning in order to be understood.

www.SlovakCooking.com has a great article debating the pros and cons of using milk to make oškvarky.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling 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.

Photo credit: svetvomne.sk

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