Monday, November 10, 2008

A Random Hungarian Festival

The Mangalitsa is the star of the show.

There's a set of photos showing some Hungarians having a festival. Part of it involves killing a Mangalitsa. I can't understand Hungarian at all, so I really don't know what they are doing or what the context is.

I suspect they dragged the pig to the event so that everyone could see the whole process. More interesting for the people, but more stressful for the pig. [see the comments for what really happened]

After they kill the Mangalitsa, they take the hair off by scalding it. The chains are meant to rub the hair and epidermis off. Austrians use the same system.

After they kill the pig (or pigs?) they make some goulash [NOT -- see the comment for what they made]. Their fancy equipment (e.g. buckets for their gas tanks, neat wooden stands) and uniforms tell me they are probably professionals paid to come and make goulash for the crowd.

I like how when the event is all over, the pig (except for the guts and bones) is all gone. It is a bit like a crawfish boil. The pig comes (live) to the party and doesn't leave. The people leave happy and with full stomachs. What a simple and ancient communal eating experience.

Killing the pig at the event and cooking and serving the meat would be illegal in much of the USA, because the meat wouldn't be USDA-inspected.


Vanda said...

Let me provide a hasty translation.

They are leading the pig because it attempted an escape, so they had to chase it down, catch it and lead it back to the slaughter.

Apparently, this was not the end of the troubles. They were attacked by an anti-pig killing commando armed with water pistols, but the local firemen took care of them.

The food cooking in the cauldrons is a traditional cabbage dish. It might contain some of the fresh meat, but probably not. The main ingredient - aside from cabbage - is smoked ham hocks. The article didn't go into details.

Vanda said...

By the way the Hungarian name for the person whose job to kill larger life stock - and it's a serious job - is "böllér." The article mentions böllér breakfast. I'm not sure what it is, but I have an inkling.

As a child I have been to a few pig killings, and I remember that my father's favorite dish was fresh pig's blood fried with onions.

In Hungarian pig killings the pig's throat is cut and the blood is caught in a bowl. Aside from the above mentioned, it is used in making blood sausages.

Heath said...

Vanda - Thanks very much for the translation and the corrections.

Vanda said...

Any time.

Check out this video of a Hungarian mangalica slaughter contest:

The young man is drunk as a skunk, undoubtedly from drinking "palinka," a popular Hungarian fruit brandy.

Btw, if you use google to search for Hungarian pig killing articles there a few terms that are useful to know: "disznótors" and "disznovágás."

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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